(December 20, 2018): Amendments to Section 230 of the Motor Vehicle Act are not to be put into force for Occupational Therapists

In June 2010, Section 230 of the Motor Vehicle Act was amended to include occupational therapists on the list of health care professionals who would have a duty and authority to report concerns regarding a person’s fitness to drive as a result of a medical condition or functional impairment. However, this amendment was not put into force as the related regulations were not finalized by the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General (MPSSG).

In seeking a status update from RoadSafetyBC, a branch within MPSSG, the College has been informed that the amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act will not be put into force in the foreseeable future.

What does this mean for your practice?
Registrants should be aware that they still do not have a duty to report driver fitness concerns and that this is not likely to change in the foreseeable future.

However, should an occupational therapist identify concerns regarding a client’s ability to drive safely, they may have to authority to report this information. For example, Section 78(1) of the COTBC Bylaws provides a list of circumstances in which disclosure without consent may be authorized. Of note, is s. 78(1)(k) which states that “[a registrant must maintain confidentiality of personal information and may disclose relevant personal information only] where the registrant believes on reasonable grounds that there is a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of any person and that the use or disclosure of the information would reduce that risk”.

Depending on the circumstances, sections of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) or the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) may also apply in private and public sectors, respectively.

Occupational therapists are encouraged to review Practice Standard 6 of the Managing Client information Practice Standards, titled Disclosing the Occupational Therapy Record*. To supplement this Standard, COTBC is planning to develop a more tailored practice resource to support occupational therapists with their decision making in the area of disclosing driver fitness concerns. In the interim, should you have questions, you are encouraged to contact the College at practice@cotbc.org to discuss.

* Note that COTBC has updated their bylaws since the Managing Client Information Standards were initially published. While the posted standard refers to Bylaws 79 and 88, please note that the new bylaws are 78 and 86 respectively. COTBC is in the process of updating their resources to reflect the Bylaws amendments.

(March 20, 2018): RoadSafety BC Announces New Enhanced Road Assessment

In March 2018, ICBC unveiled the new enhanced road assessment (ERA) for drivers identified by RoadSafetyBC as needing a functional road assessment regarding their medical fitness to drive safely. This assessment includes drivers with medical conditions who currently attend an ICBC re-examination and drivers who are currently referred for a DriveABLE cognitive assessment (Province of BC, 2017).

It is not anticipated that these changes will have a significant impact for occupational therapists. However, occupational therapists who work in the area of driver rehabilitation are advised to review the resources below to better understand this change and its potential impact on their clients and practice.

Province of BC News Release: Enhanced road assessment to strengthen road safety (2017, Nov. 30)
RoadSafetyBC’s Enhanced Road Assessment (ERA)

For specific questions regarding the new ERA, please contact RoadSafety BC

Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Medical Standards for Drivers Guide Replaces 2010 BC Guide

Effective April 1, 2016 the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Medical Standards for Drivers Guide has replaced the 2010 BC Guide in Determining Fitness to Drive. Occupational therapists that refer to the 2010 BC Guide to support their practice are advised to review the new Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Medical Standards for Drivers Guide to understand how this change may affect their practice.

Why the change?
In December 2015, following consultation with a variety of stakeholders, RoadSafetyBC decided to replace the 2010 BC Guide in Determining Fitness to Drive with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) Medical Standards for Drivers.

CCMTA standards were adopted because they are:

  • More current and used the strong foundation of the 2010 BC Guide;
  • Regularly reviewed by licensing authorities, clinicians and researchers from across Canada to ensure currency and reflection of existing medical opinion and advances in research and knowledge;
  • Easier to use as a reference for clinicians and a tool for licensing bodies;
  • A balance of national consistency and local jurisdiction’s determined practices;
  • Currently used across Canada with the exception of BC.

How does this influence occupational therapy practice?

COTBC and CAOT-BC partnered to consult with a group of occupational therapists who regularly refer to the 2010 BC Guide in their practice. The purpose of the consultation was to determine the significance of this change for occupational therapy practice. After considering the differences outlined in the RoadSafetyBC overview report, these occupational therapists indicated that the changes are likely to have minimal impact. However, it is important that occupational therapists still review the new standards, understand any differences, and apply them in their practice after April 1, 2016.

Want to learn more?

Visit the RoadSafetyBC website to review the Guide, FAQs, and other resources.

For specific practice questions regarding the new CCMTA Standards, please contact RoadSafetyBC or 1 (855) 387-7747.