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B.C. revamps driving assessments for seniors

A driver steers a steering wheel. The B.C. government is changing the way it assesses the driving skills of seniors, including allowing elderly drivers to take a road test if they fail a computer assessment.

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The B.C. government is changing the way it assesses the driving skills of seniors, including allowing elderly drivers to take a road test if they fail a computer assessment.

The changes to the DriveABLE program were announced by Justice Minister Shirley Bond Monday after complaints from seniors about the suitability of computer-based testing for drivers who may be in their 80s.

She says people who fail the computer test will be offered a road assessment, and the final decision on whether they keep their drivers' license will be based on a combination of the two tests and a doctor's evaluation.

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The provincial government will pay for the cost of both assessments.

The government is also expanding the assessment program to offer it as close to home for seniors as possible, including opening a new centre in Cranbrook in May, and is developing a public awareness and education program to connect with seniors beginning at an earlier age.

About 1,500 seniors are referred to the DriveABLE assessment each year by their doctors when they are considered to have mental issues that may hinder their ability to drive safely.

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