Extra burden on elders who are still fit to drive

In May of 2012 both my wife and myself received a Drivers Medical Form from the office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles.

Open letter to Christy Clark, Premier of B.C.:

Re: Medical examination for drivers aged 80 years or over.

In May of 2012 both my wife and myself received a Drivers Medical Form from the office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. This is the second one we received in the past two years. The first form we received in 2010 as we were turning 80.

This form was to be taken to our family doctor to fill out and examine us. The total cost was $127 each.

We were told by our doctor there is nothing medically wrong with either of us—we passed with flying colours.

I had my drivers renewed, and it is supposed to be good for five years. So in checking with the powers to be, including our MLA, we were told we have to have this exam every two years, for an additional cost of $127 each.

This means that for the privilege of driving in B.C. if you are over 80 years old it is going to cost an additional $5.29 per month, or for both of us $10.58 per month, over and above every other driver as long as we drive in B.C.

Both my wife and I are good drivers. We have not had any claims, or tickets, since we can remember. So why are seniors over 80 singled out? What’s wrong with the 70 year olds or the 60 year olds? A lot of them have the same medical conditions as an 80 year old. We have a very limited income, this is just another nail in our coffin. There are 84,000 seniors over the age of 80, only 1,500 are referred to take the Driver Assessment. But all of them who need to drive must take the medical examination every two years, and pay for it.

This infringes on the rights of seniors over 80.

Part 1 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms: Equality Rights; 15 (1) Every individual is equal before and under the Law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, nation of ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

Section 2 Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, or mental or  physical disability. (1) (1) Oxford; Amelioration – make or become better.

This is not right, and someone has to have some common sense, and do something about this injustice.

Recently we had Seniors Week in B.C. and all of us seniors over 80 better remember how we are being screwed if we still have to pay this extra cost just for the privilege to drive in B.C.

By the way, if I don’t take the medical in 45 days, they will take my   drivers licence away.

Ted Hauptman,


Kelowna Capital News