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Old 03-17-10, 07:04 PM   #1
unicornrag
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annual driver testing

Are you for or against it?

Every Canadian who's licensed to drive should/shouldn't be subject to annual testing in order to renew his/her driver's license after they turn 65.

state your stance and reasons.
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Old 03-17-10, 07:16 PM   #2
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In Missouri at least, school bus drivers over 70 have to retest every year to renew their license.

FWIW, nobody worries much about the driving part of the test.

The pre-trip inspection, on the other hand, is a big worry. It's basically parroting a memorized speil about the bus that has no connection to what we do the rest of the year. If you forget to mention steering link crown nut cotter pins, drive shaft loops or brake slack adjusters, you fail.

I have no particular problem with retesting. I would like to see a test that corresponds better with what we actually do.
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Old 03-17-10, 08:08 PM   #3
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65 might be a bit early, but I'll bet Canada has fewer age related accidents, or deaths, than the US.
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Old 03-17-10, 08:13 PM   #4
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I would have no problem with testing every five years. That is for every licenced driver regardless of age. Annual testing would be better started at 70 imo.
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Old 03-17-10, 08:54 PM   #5
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Having dealt with my M-I-L and driving, I can tell you it is way too easy for an older driver to get their license renewed in California IMHO. The DMV tried everything to get her license renewed even though we knew she shouldn't be driving. Fortunately, she didn't pass but it was way too close. And there were only written tests, they never looked at all the scrapes on her car where she'd repeatedly run into her house!
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Old 03-17-10, 09:08 PM   #6
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Are you for or against it?

Every Canadian who's licensed to drive should/shouldn't be subject to annual testing in order to renew his/her driver's license after they turn 65.

state your stance and reasons.
I think age 65 is far too late, personally I think you should need to retake a written driving test at age 20, then every 5 years until age 70. Beyond age 70 you should be required to take a written and road test every year. Scoring less then 90% on the written test should be a fail, failing should then mean, first you need to pass, second you need to take a supplemental road test. Under such a system, driving schools would be permitted to offer refresher courses, to assist drivers to make sure they pass the test.

Personally I think the written test should be done on a computer at the licence office, it would have 20 different categories of questions, and gives you one randomly from each category. Taking the test 2 days in a row, might give you all different questions, the order of the categories would also be random, so the first question category one day, might be last the next time. Also random is the order of the answers, so there is no possibility of memorizing the test.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:01 PM   #7
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I don't think a periodic vision test would be out of line.
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Old 03-17-10, 10:31 PM   #8
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I do a significant amount of travel. Because a police department in Colorado made a statement they were going to pay extra attention to "older" drivers because they were "extra hazardous" I've paid attention to the age range of people I see running red lights, failing to stop for a Stop Sign, tailgating, aggressive driving, etc.

Interestingly enough I haven't seen any particular age or gender predominance. If anything it seems like the younger folks seem to be more aggressve and in a Me First mindset.

At the same time I think it is reasonable to assume that older people have a higher likelyhood of being killed or injured in a MVC; mainly due to their frailty. Remember most of us posting here are much more robust specimens than the average person of our respective age groups.

In my state vision testing is a part of all license renewals regardless of age or gender.

So, I would endorse annual testing, road, vision and written, for all people of all ages. To segregate out any particular group based on age is bigotry and totally unacceptable whether Canadian or US.
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Old 03-17-10, 11:11 PM   #9
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A lot of talk about the renewal process -- how about stiffening the initial process, as well?

20 questions? Are you mad? 50, at least. The test should reflect the seriousness of the license and its responsibility.

Licenses should be tougher to get and easier to lose, maybe then people will catch a clue that driving isn't party time.
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Old 03-18-10, 02:59 AM   #10
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I would rather see a bi-annual retest for every driver. IMHO, as many as 20% of the drivers out there, regardless of age, are too dangerous to be around. We treat driving like a right when it should be treated like a privilage.

And yes, at 63 I can see where older drivers should be given some extra attention in the areas of vision and general awareness.
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Old 03-18-10, 06:01 AM   #11
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My vote will not count because I'm not Canadian.

I'm against it, at least in my own country.

1. More bureaucracy
2. More expense to be born by citizens
3. No return on investment
4. Discriminatory (age profiling)
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Old 03-18-10, 07:23 AM   #12
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My vote will not count because I'm not Canadian.

I'm against it, at least in my own country.

1. More bureaucracy
2. More expense to be born by citizens
3. No return on investment
4. Discriminatory (age profiling)
IF the test is a predictor of driving performance (accidents and violations) I don't see how you can say there is no return on investment.

If it isn't a predictor of driving performance (and unfortunately that's my bet) what's the point?

Beyond the most basic level I don't see that written tests do much.
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Old 03-18-10, 07:26 AM   #13
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I would not object to increased testing frequency at all ages. It should be harder to obtain the license initially and easier to lose it. Too many people are driving today with terrible skills and habits. Tailgating and cell phone use while driving should be ticketed and points given toward license suspension. Texting while driving should be banned with zero tolerance. License suspension with safety classes and community service required for the first offense with increasing severity for subsequent offenses and licence revocation for chronic offenders. Distracted driving is a serious problem and it gets too little attention from lawmakers and law enforcement.
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Old 03-18-10, 07:51 AM   #14
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Maybe we need to go back to square 1 and start over.

The outcome that we're looking for is to reduce accidents and to control the flow of traffic.

A written test is an indicator that potential drivers know what they should do. The key thing, however, is what do they really do?

I think that we need to look at the root causes of traffic accidents and design a licensing program that addresses those causes. Age, by itself, isn't a cause. Physical condition may be a factor. Inattention is a biggie. I've long been aware of people reading and writing reports while driving. Today we have text messageing. One of my good BF friends was killed by a driver who was downloading ring tones. Nobody talks on their cell phone while they are taking a driving test with a patrolman beside them. So how do you address that issue?
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Old 03-18-10, 08:04 AM   #15
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A lot of talk about the renewal process -- how about stiffening the initial process, as well?

20 questions? Are you mad? 50, at least. The test should reflect the seriousness of the license and its responsibility.

Licenses should be tougher to get and easier to lose, maybe then people will catch a clue that driving isn't party time.
I think it depends on the questions, driving test questions are often currently set up so there is one obvious answer, one possible answer and 2 or 3 joke answers.
What you need is 3 or 4 possible answers, where you need to be paying attention, to get the right one. More questions are always possible, such a test would need the questions reviewed on occasion, and statistics should be kept to see how many people get which ones wrong. I missed one thing in my initial response, that I intended to include, upon renewal you need to provide a special form from a licenced optometrist, and a medical form from your doctor.

The initial process, that's got to be much tougher, it should be as process similar to a pilots licence. You need to pass tests, then log so many hours, before taking more tests, and logging more hours, graduated licencing on steroids. One test I would like to see is a simulator test, this throws just about anything possible at the driver being tested, including a very inexperienced and very intoxicated, unlit ninja cyclist. Violating the law, or crashing is an automatic fail. For a new driver, there is the drive from h*ll, then it's repeated next time, but your in a highway tractor with a 53' trailer. Ninja is back driving a car this time, his/her job is to try to make you fail. That trailer is also trying to make you fail. The reasoning here is that seeing how difficult it is to drive such a vehicle with it's poor sight lines, and huge blind spots, would teach the driver to be careful around such vehicles. A young man should walk out of that simulator about 3kg lighter, because they have just spent an hour sweating buckets. Another test for the new driver, but near the end of the process, should be the requirement that they have taken and passed skid control training. Just thinking, the road test for existing drivers, might just be better if it were a run through that same simulator.

Two things, drunk driving and hit and run, get you a suspended licence (5 years), that is cancelled when the suspension is over, this means the MOT/DMV erases the fact you ever had a licence, you now need to start over as a brand new driver. Driving without a valid licence, should subject you to a massively huge fine (thinking 25% of your annual income would be sufficient -- yes that does mean that a doctor making $1,000,000 per year would pay more then the ditch digger who makes $10,000 per year -- not fair, I know, but so what?), also the vehicle being confiscated, if the vehicle is not one that you own, the owner can sue you for up to 75% of the value, they should have checked your licence, before loaning/renting you the vehicle, so they need to share some pain. A website should be set up, where you can key in a drivers licence number, and it will show you valid or invalid, but no other information.

If your drunk driving or hit and run, results in injury or death, you are held fully liable, even if the collision was caused by the other party. Drivers should be scared spitless of driving after consuming alcohol. professional drivers even more so.
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Old 03-18-10, 01:44 PM   #16
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I'm against it unless it is applied universally across the entire range of ages for those who drive, and even then I'm not sure I would support it. From first hand experience (I'll get to them in a minute) I know that taking over the road driving tests are somewhat flawed to begin with. I think if the current practices we know (i.e., abundant evidence exists) that contributes to unsafe driving were rigorously eliminated, there's be no need. That is, drunk driving, cell phone use and texting, eating/drinking while driving, putting on make-up while driving, reading the newspaper while driving, if they were stopped, we'd see a serious reduction in the death rate, which BTW is dropping steadily here in the USA.

I observed two instances in the last ten years at two different testing facilities that really caused me to question the objective nature of driving tests. The first was when an attractive woman was being tested. I heard the man going to test her whisper to the other guy testing that day, "She shows me any thigh and she'll pass." I suspect she did just that, because while watching the test I noted it took five tries to parallel park and at the end of the test she drove up onto the curb. And, yep, you guessed it - she passed. The second was when a young man with very long hair and a Metallica t-shirt on was waiting in his car for his test. The man doing the test muttered to himself as he walked toward the car, "Damn freaks. Snowball's chance in hell he'll pass." And, as you can guess, he failed.
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Old 03-18-10, 03:51 PM   #17
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A lot of talk about the renewal process -- how about stiffening the initial process, as well?

20 questions? Are you mad? 50, at least. The test should reflect the seriousness of the license and its responsibility.

Licenses should be tougher to get and easier to lose, maybe then people will catch a clue that driving isn't party time.
What DX-MAN wrote, to the power of 3!

Germany, now those folks know how to issue a drivers license. (so I have heard)


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Old 03-18-10, 04:27 PM   #18
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Interesting... the perspective of these more experienced folks on BF tends to be that licenses should be harder to get and testing should be done more often. I tend to also agree.
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Old 03-19-10, 10:10 PM   #19
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Testing every year would just be looked at by the states as a way to solve their budget woes. Once it is in place the fees will be jacked up every year. How about this: If you are in an accident regardless of how minor, regardless of age, you have to retest? The auto insurance companies sure feel that having an accident is a predictor of more accidents.
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Old 03-20-10, 08:03 AM   #20
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Testing every year would just be looked at by the states as a way to solve their budget woes. Once it is in place the fees will be jacked up every year. How about this: If you are in an accident regardless of how minor, regardless of age, you have to retest? The auto insurance companies sure feel that having an accident is a predictor of more accidents.
The concept is to avoid the collision in the first place. If you have a good testing procedure, then you root out poor drivers, before the collision takes place. Well trained drivers who are concentrating on driving, do not cause collisions. Unfortunately as laws currently stand, people go decades without testing or retesting. If a drivers skills can degrade over time or their reflexes weaken or they simply forget basic stuff, then we don't want these drivers causing collisions, we want them off the road before the collision. Especially if that collision is with a vulnerable road user, whether that vulnerable use is a cyclist, biker, pedestrian, a baby in a carriage or a grandmother with a walker. *
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Old 03-20-10, 08:28 AM   #21
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Interesting... the perspective of these more experienced folks on BF tends to be that licenses should be harder to get and testing should be done more often. I tend to also agree.
In North America, we have set up a system that pretty much requires most travel to be by personal motor vehicle, so it needs to be easy to obtain and retain a driver's licence. This is why driving tests are designed so that a chimpanzee can pass, retesting is limited to only the extremely elderly and the only way to lose a licence is multiple DUI's. In Europe where population densities are high and there are good public transportation systems and excellent bicycle infrastructure, the majority of the population does not need to drive for everyday transportation, therefore getting a licence is much harder, and losing one, much easier.

What will be interesting is if we hit the tipping point for petroleum prices. This is the point where oil prices are sufficiently high enough, that it becomes impractical to manufacture goods in Chinese sweatshops and ship them half way around the world for consumption. An economist with a Canadian Bank ( know one thing about Canadian banks, they hire the best and brightest, they have the money to so so) pegged this at $200/barrel, a number that could be reached as early as 2012 and as late as 2015. Economically that's good, because it opens up a huge number of manufacturing jobs in North America, economically it's bad because how are the employees supposed to get to those jobs when gas is more then (US$ 8/ US gallon), and Canada will be looking back at cheap gasoline being $2/L.
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