Letter to the editor: Big brother syndrome?

Bert DeVink speaks to the big brother syndrome and the driver's licensing system.


About a month ago I got my renewed drivers license stating it is good until July 2015.

A couple of weeks later I got a letter from the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles that included a medical form that had to be filled out by my doctor and that cost me $75.

At a meeting of the Seniors Advocacy group I found out that the price charged by doctors for filling out this document ranged from $25 – $110.

Sept. 11, I got a letter from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles regarding a review of my medical fitness to drive.

It floored me because according to my doctor I am medically fit and my eye specialist said my vision exceeds the limit necessary to drive.

I decided to look into the reason I have to take the test and found out my cognitive ability was questioned by the Office of the Superintendent after receiving the $75 document.

I could not believe that my doctor questioned my mental capabilities so  I phoned the people who set up the appointment and I found out it was a private firm who only sets up appointments.

Then I phoned the people who do the test and they are also a private outfit who could not or were not allowed to answer my question “ who was the doctor who signed the form doubting my mental abilities?”

I was referred to the office of the superintendent and after the usual long wait to even get past the busy signal, I had to go through a long list of available services.

Eventually I did get through to the office of the person I wanted to talk to.

I almost lost it at that point because a voice said leave your phone number and I will get back to you within two days.

When I did get phoned back and asked who was the doctor that signed the document that was the reason for my test, the answer was I am not allowed to disclose that, you will have to find that out by contacting the Freedom of Information Act.

I found out that I had to pay for that too, so I went to see my doctor and she showed me the document she had filled out.

It was my whole medical history, from as far as thirty years back, including a visit to a medical doctor specializing in senior affairs and mental health a couple of months ago.

I had asked for an appointment at least a year or more prior to the actual appointment because of very hard times and a death in our family that was solved two months after I initially asked for an appointment.

I went to see him anyway because I thought I was getting more forgetful even if my family did not agree and said I always have been forgetful.

I came out with 29 out of 30 on that test and that is the reason I have to go for a driver test even if my own doctor tested me and found nothing wrong with me mentally or physically.

When I got the letter that included the document I did not look close enough at the part the doctor had to fill out and certainly did not realize that my whole medical history was going to the Motor Vehicle Branch.  Since when has the Motor Vehicle Branch obtained the right to get private medical information and how safe is that information if the testing for a drivers license is done by private outfits?

Is the big brother watching you syndrome lurking around the corner?  Why do senior drivers in rural areas have to travel idiotic distances for driver tests when local private driving schools can test as well as the private outfit installed by inconsiderate public servants?

Bert deVink




Just Posted

Single-lane alternating traffic on Highway 97 near Alexandria

Drive BC reports a vehicle incident has reduced traffic on the road

Narcosli Creek Fire now 70% contained, more resources allocated in North Cariboo

Blackwater River and North Baezaeko fires remain zero per cent contained

Quesnel’s program to attract and retain new residents

Susan Paulsen rolls out the red carpet treatment to help new residents adjust

Letter: rural B.C. deserves police resources just as much as Lower Mainland

MLA hopes Minister of Public Safety’s B.C. tour will open his eyes to lack of police resources in region

29 years on: the search for a missing Prince George family continues

Marlene Jack has been searching for information about her sister’s family for 29 years

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Behind the fire line: B.C. firefighters stalked by cougars

A Keremeos volunteer firefighter talks about what it was like to patrol the Snowy Mountain fire

Woman in custody after topless crane climb near Toronto waterfront

Toronto police have apprehend a woman who climbed crane cab near waterfront

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

Ontario has seen more than 1,000 forest fires so far this year, compared to 561 in all of 2017.

‘Billion-piece jigsaw puzzle:’ Canadians key to 1st complete map of wheat genome

The paper has 202 authors from 73 research agencies in 20 countries.

Williams Lake ESS activated for possible arrival of wildfire evacuees from west of Prince George

Once Prince George reaches 100 per cent capacity they will be directed to Williams Lake

70 years after Babe Ruth’s death, fans still flock to grave

After Ruth died of throat cancer at age 53, tens of thousands of fans came to pay respects

Airbnb’s federal budget proposal tells Liberals, ‘we want to be regulated’

Submission says ‘we want to be regulated’ and asks the government to avoid forcing existing rules

Greens won’t run candidate in Burnaby South as ‘leader’s courtesy’ to Singh: May

Green Leader Elizabeth May says the decision is an extension of a ‘leader’s courtesy’

Most Read