Senior drivers taken for a checkup on road skills

WATCH ABOVE: The Alberta Motor Association took a few Lethbridge seniors through the city to test the theory that driving is all about ability and not age. Erik Mikkelsen was there for the ride.

LETHBRIDGE – They say everything gets better with age, but it isn’t always true when it comes to driving. After 60 years of driving, Marnie Brown is starting to realize she may need a refresher.

“Oh I’m a great driver,” laughed Brown sarcastically. “Everybody, every friend that I have [says], ‘oh yeah I’ve been driving forever.’”

Brown said even though she’s been driving since the day after her 16th birthday, experience isn’t everything.

“A lot of people think that equates to that they just keep getting better,” said Brown. “Well, you know, that’s not true. So, this is a checkup… it’s a visit to the doctor.”

Who is the “doctor”? AMA driving instructor Rick Robie, and he’s bringing his so-called clinic around Alberta to help senior drivers check up on their driving abilities.

“If you can show you have the skills to safely operate the vehicle in all situations and environments,” said Robie. “It’s not about age at all.”

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“It’s about your ability to manage the scene and things that are happening around you.”

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Brown and Robbie hit the streets of Lethbridge Monday, to see hands-on, how well she performs behind the wheel.

Afterwards, they had a short debrief on what went well.

“I noticed with the vehicle handling, on your braking it was smooth braking, you weren’t braking late,” said Robie. “Which tells me you were looking quite far down the road, that’s really good too.”

They also touched on what could be worked on.

“Your hand position on the steering wheel tends to vary a little bit, sometimes you’re at 10 and two, sometimes you’re nine and one,” added Robie.

Brown says she picked up some new driving tips and stresses that every senior should be reflecting and reviewing their skills.

“I have told my kids, that if all three of them agree that I should not be driving, it is in their hands to make me stop,” said Brown. “Then I laughed and said, ‘and I won’t go quietly.’”

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