Your Money: Driving tests for commercial vehicle operators

As long as the driver is in good health and with a good driving record, the age of 65 for annual license renewal is an arbitrarily set figure, CARP says.

CARP has been in the forefront for many years, promoting safe driving for older drivers whether as private operators or as commercial vehicle operators.

Canadians are living longer and many are working past the traditional retirement age of 65. Many of these people are continuing careers as commercial vehicle drivers. Some are self employed truckers or are working for other entrepreneurs with varying sizes of fleets. School bus companies, for example, are constantly seeking retirees to take part time, but very responsible positions.

The present situation is in need of review, and we thank the Department of Transport for the opportunity to participate in the process.

As long as the driver is in good health, with a good driving record, in our view the age of 65 for annual license renewal is an arbitrarily set figure, without scientific basis.

The requirement to renew every year is costly, inconvenient and, in most cases, unnecessary.

The driver is required to supply a similar vehicle to the one he drives. This adds substantially to the over all cost.

Figures supplied by a CARP member are as follows:

Knowledge test $10.00

Road test $75.00

Airbrake endorsement $50.00

Airbrake practical $40.00

Medical $50.00

Sub total: $225.00

Refresher course at Advanced Driving School (in order to rent a vehicle for the test): $95 per hours x 2 hours: $190.00

Total: $415.00

Should the applicant not be able to secure an acceptable vehicle, and requests the use of the company truck, he runs the risk of being fired, or having the cost deducted from his wages.

We agree regulations are necessary to ensure safe vehicles and competent, safe drivers of all ages. Selecting a specific age – in this case 65 – is discriminatory. In our view, physical ability, medical condition and driving record should be the principal issues on which to base license renewals for commercial drivers.

We, therefore, would like to recommend that commercial drivers be required to pass a medical test annually, and that unless there has been a driving infraction, his or her license should be renewed.

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