OBAC Pleased MTO is Reopening Discussions on Senior Commercial Driver Testing
OTTAWA, Ont. (December 23, 2011) -- The Owner-Operator's Business Association of Canada (OBAC) is pleased that Ontario's Minister of Transportation, Bob Chiarelli, has agreed to reopen discussions surrounding the issue of age-based testing for commercial drivers aged 65 and older.
In a letter to OBAC, Minister Chiarelli indicated he intends to proceed with a review of Commercial Driver Licence Renewal requirements for senior drivers. In the letter, Minister Chiarelli said he believes commercial driver licence renewal can be made less onerous for senior drivers without compromising safety. He as asked his Parliamentary Assistant, Vic Dhillon (MPP, Brampton West), to lead the review.
Since 2007, OBAC has been urging the MTO to dispense with the practice of forcing safe and experienced senior drivers to complete an entry-level driver's road test as a means of requalifying their Class A commercial driver's licence. OBAC believes there are more effective and less onerous ways to of safely determining fitness to continue driving and MTO has expressed interest in exploring some of the alternatives OBAC has proposed.
"Through a succession of ministers, OBAC has gone to MTO recommending it does away with the road test for senior drivers, replacing it with a more suitable means of evaluating driver skills, cognitive ability, and regulatory knowledge," says OBAC Executive Director, Joanne Ritchie. "Forcing a driver with perhaps 30 or 40 years of experience to complete the entry-level driver's exam does nothing to test for conditions that could be associated with aging."
OBAC also recommended that the current written test be revised to more accurately test a commercial driver's technical and regulatory knowledge.
In his letter, Minister Chiarelli announced some minor changes to the requalification process for senior drivers, which OBAC believes demonstrates the Minister is aware of the problem and is willing to work toward an appropriate long-term solution. They include: