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




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