Seniors’ advocates claim some older drivers in Red Deer are being forced to undergo testing that isn’t required by law.   Albertans over 75 have to pass a physical, including an eye exam, to renew their licences.

The provincial government also recommends — but does not require — an oral test called a SIMARD (Screen for the Identification of Cognitively Impaired Medically At-Risk Drivers) and a computer test called DriveABLE.  

But Elder Advocates of Alberta Society spokeswoman Ruth Adria said some doctors are telling seniors the $250 tests are mandatory.

"They subject the senior to the test without asking them. By law when you are assessed in any way, permission should be sought. But these people, they come in and they are literally blindsided," she said.

The validity of the tests is also questionable, said Adria, given that some seniors have failed them but later passed an hour-long road test.

Seniors planned to gather outside the Red Deer Regional Hospital at Wednesday to raise awareness on the issue.