One goal is to reduce stress on the health network.
Aiming to "simplify" the licence renewal process, the SAAQ is ending the medical and vision test requirement for drivers between the ages of 75 and 80. Previously, drivers had to submit medical and vision evaluation forms when they turned 75.
Now, they will only have to submit a medical self-declaration. Drivers with medical conditions that, in the words of the SAAQ, "may not be compatible with safe driving," and drivers 80 years and older will still have to undergo exams and send in evaluations every two years.
The SAAQ says less than 2% of the approximately 55,000 75-year-olds who undergo a medical and vision test each year have had their licences suspended as a result, and "very few" have had conditions added to their licences.
The organization also hopes the elimination of the mandatory exams for 75-year-old drivers will reduce strain on the health network. The announcement came on the same day that Health Minister Christian Dubé presented a plan to modernize health care in the province.
"The Quebec health care system has been under great strain in recent months and we are aware of this," Quebec Minister of Transport François Bonnardel said in a press release. "By increasing the effectiveness of our medical checks, we can better identify drivers who are at risk and ensure that safety remains the priority on our roads."
"Improved living conditions and increased life expectancy mean that Quebecers are living longer and healthier lives. As a result, 75-year-old drivers are in better health than in the past," SAAQ President and CEO Denis Marsolais added.
He assured, however, that "the new approach will not be implemented at the expense of road safety, but rather to improve our efficiency and customer service."
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.