Just one day after a pedestrian was hit and killed by a truck, another was pinned down on Lansdowne Street sustaining minor injuries, Nov. 22.
In the first accident, on Nov. 21, a 62-year-old Kamloops man driving a 2002 Ford F-150, travelling north on Sixth Avenue stopped at the intersection and turned left onto Victoria Street as 67-year-old Kamloops woman, Valerie Brook, crossed.
Drugs and alcohol were ruled out as a cause, but the man was prohibited from driving under the Motor Vehicle Act.
In the second incident, on Nov. 22, a 72-year-old Pinatan Lake resident drove onto the curb while parking in the London Drugs parking lot, mowing down a metal signpost and pinning a 25-year-old Kamloops man beneath it.
The pedestrian was released from the Royal Inland Hospital the same day with minor cuts to his knee and elbow.
The driver received a provincial violation for driving without due care and attention.
While both accidents are under investigation by RCMP, ICBC communications coordinator, Lindsay Olsen, said seniors could be a risk behind the wheel. She said crash risks for older drivers is complicated, noting that the statistics don't give the whole story.
"On the positive side, crash volumes for senior drivers in B.C. are among the lowest of all age groups," Olsen said. "However, research indicates that older drivers tend to have high crash rates per kilometre driven."
She said the rates are comparable to those found of new drivers aged 16 to 24.
"This means that while seniors may drive less, they’re more at risk when they do so," she said.
ICBC offers tips for senior drivers including: refresher courses, staying healthy and/or relinquishing driver’s licenses.
It is a provincial requirement for drivers aged 80 and older to complete a Driver Medical Examination Report with their physician to determine potential fitness issues that may prevent seniors from driving safely.
A referral-based program called DriveABLE is also available, determining cognitive impairment. Geared at drivers of all ages, it tests memory, attention span, reaction time, spatial judgment and decision-making based on referrals by RCMP, physicians and family members.
— Jessica Wallace