New driving test for seniors lauded by Sudbury CARP chapter

From CBC News Sudbury

The head of the Sudbury chapter of CARP, a lobby group that promotes the rights for the aging population, says changes to how seniors renew their drivers licence are positive.

As of April 21, drivers aged 80 and older will no longer have to do a written knowledge test, the province said.

Instead, the seniors will do a shorter program, including a vision test, a driver record review, an in-class group education session and an in-class screening exercise.

The province said the new tests are non-computerized, and will be able to identify drivers who may need further assessment, including a road test or medical review.

The change is a step in the right direction, said Pat Douglas, chair of the Sudbury chapter of CARP.

“It created a lot of stress for seniors with this written part of the test,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a positive change.”

Douglas said CARP had been lobbying the provincial government to change the previous system.

“Just because a person does well in a written test doesn’t mean that they’re still excellent drivers,” she said.

“Apparently, these are [tests] that are researched. They haven’t just made these things up. It’s actually tasks that have been proven to find out about the person’s capability to keep on driving.”

The province said drivers over the age of 80 must renew their licences every two years.

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