Saturday, February 12, 2011

Should a computer decide if a senior can drive?

Rhonda Callow - ... It seems that here in BC computer-based testing is used to help determine a person’s fitness to drive. The explanation below was extracted from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles‘ publication 2010 BC Guide in Determining Fitness to Drive:

“The DriveABLE assessment is specifically designed to identify cognitive impairments in experienced drivers. The first component is an in-office assessment conducted by a qualified DriveABLE assessor that requires the driver to complete a series of tasks on the computer. Those in the most dangerous and most competent ranges are identified through automated scoring procedures and do not require further assessment. Drivers who score in the indeterminate range proceed to a road test for the second stage of the assessment. The road test is different from regular road tests and administered by a qualified DriveABLE evaluator. The road course was developed to reveal errors made by drivers who have become unsafe due to declines in cognitive abilities.”

What this means is that the computer test alone can decide whether a person is competent to drive or whether they are sufficiently cognitively impaired to warrant their license being revoked. Yikes! I can’t help but wonder whether a computer should really be making this call. I mean, taking away a person’s independence and mobility is no trivial matter, especially if the person is elderly or ill or lives in a remote area. Additionally, accurately determining that a person is medically okay to drive is also critically important.

In my opinion, it’s perfectly okay for computer-based testing to form part of the decision making process but the computer should not have the final say; instead, that responsibility should rest with a doctor and/or driving examiner. ...

via Should a computer decide if a senior can drive? | Sync™ Blog.

Interesting idea. I wonder if this will be used in the US some day? (Is it already?)

1 comment:

Cheng said...

This should be mandatory for all drivers every couple of years or so. Perhaps built in to the dash board of your vehicle so that it won't start until you've passed.
The computer is probably the best way to determine a persons ability. Examiners can be swayed by emotive issues, like a persons mobility etc.