Ontario considering partial restrictions on older drivers
Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley is looking at limiting driving privileges for older motorists instead of a total licence suspension when a doctor says they could be a danger on the road.
Right now, it's an all or nothing proposition. If a doctor feels someone poses a threat driving, the licence is suspended.
But Bradley said there's another alternative.
He is suggesting a limited licence that would allow older drivers and those with medical conditions to drive, although not at night and not on the 400-series highways.
"It is challenging for them because many of them will tell you that they want their licence to travel in their own neighbourhood, their own community, that they don't go out at night, that they don't go on highways," Bradley said Monday at Queen's Park,
The idea was first put forward five years ago by the Canadian Association of Retired People and recently endorsed by Mark Yakabuski, the head of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
"In 20 years' time, we will have almost 10 million Canadians 65 years of age and older," said Yakabuski. "We're going to take the licences away from these people?"
CARP vice-president Susan Eng is worried, however, that the insurance companies will raise rates for seniors.
"The right to keep driving is crucial to the independence and mobility of people especially as they age and hence an important element of their quality of life. CARP would support bona fide regulation or restrictions based on competency but not blanket restrictions or increased insurance costs based purely on the driver's age" said Eng in a recent news release.
The organization says overall it is happy the change is being discussed.