Friday, December 9, 2011
Ageism On The Road
Seniors driving test violates human rights
BY LILA VACCHER, THE CITIZEN
I firmly believe in my mind that the treatment of all seniors over the age of 80 years to retest in a large city is discriminating, and is illegal based on the B.C. Human Rights legislation. There are no other drivers that are forced to drive in a city that they are unfamiliar with every year after they turn 80 years of age. I understand that you want safe drivers on the road, but putting seniors in financial hardship, and stressing them out by making them drive in a city that they are not familiar with, is not only putting them in harm's way, but is not based on equality, it is not right, and it is not fair.
Perhaps having their licences restricted to daytime driving or only valid in the city they are living in would be a better option. A de-graduated licensing system, not unlike the reverse situation for teens.
Putting a financial burden on them, and excessive stress like that is enough to give anyone at any age a heart attack. This is taken directly off the Public Service B.C. Human Rights Protection page.
"In B.C., it is illegal to discriminate against or harass a person because of their: race; colour; ancestry; place of origin; religion; marital status; family status; physical or mental disability; sex (includes pregnancy, breastfeeding, and sexual harassment); sexual orientation; age (19 and over); criminal conviction (in employment only); political belief (in employment only);lawful source of income (in tenancy only).
"INTENTION Discrimination does not have to be intentional to be against the law. This means that even if the person responsible for the action or comment did not "mean it," it is still discrimination according to the law. "DUTY TO ACCOMMODATE Employers, landlords, and people who provide a service to the public have a duty to accommodate the special needs of people who may require changes to the usual ways in which something is done. For example, not accommodating the special needs of a disabled person or nursing mother is a form of race; colour; ancestry...sex; sexual orientation; age (19 and over)..."
Ageism can be outright discrimination which strips people of their rightful place in society on the basis of their age alone. Ageism can also be more nuanced. It can be externally imposed on seniors through rules and policies. And it can be internally imposed, where people try to comply with societal expectations by limiting their own possibilities.
Ageism is defined as discrimination on the basis of age that makes assumptions about capacity; removes decision-making process; ignores older person's known wishes; and treats the older adult as a child.
Lila Vaccher Duncan
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