I am 67 years old and have been driving truck since 1981. At 65, I was required to renew my driver’s licence as required by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. Since then, I have spent approximately $450 each year to renew my licence.
On Oct. 4, I was scheduled to take the final test to fulfill the requirements to renew my licence for another year: the road test. My appointment was for 8:35 a.m. According to my watch, which I had set the night before by the CBC time signal, it was 8:30 when I entered the door. I approached the young woman at the desk and informed her that I was there for my road test. She rudely told me I was late by two minutes and that my licence was being downgraded to a ‘D’ licence and that I could not retry my road test until Nov. 19. She also said the brochure said “On the day of your road test, be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes early to complete check-in procedures.”
The fact that I had travelled a good portion of the night from Pittsburgh, Pa. through heavy fog, Canada Customs and heavy construction was of no concern to her.
I was the first appointment of the morning and the inspector was standing behind her, ready to go. But she said there just wasn’t enough time. I was totally dumbfounded.
This young woman, with a stroke of her finger, had instantly taken away my livelihood, put me out of business, put my family into a situation whereby my income was no longer coming in to the house thereby placing their well-being in doubt, making it impossible for me to procure a job that would provide me with an income to live in the style to which I was accustomed and cause undue hardship on me and my family.
I was off work for 20 days. I lost an income of approximately $10,000 and suffered unnecessary stress and anxiety because of the loss of my income. I had a $2,500 truck payment and a $900 mortgage payment. All this because I was two minutes late for a driving test. As I left, I noticed their clock was five minutes faster than my watch read and I pointed it out to them. They only shrugged.
Nobody should have the right to put anybody out of business and thereby destroy their and their families lives for the sake of being two minutes late for an appointment.
I have no recourse to recover this money that was lost. It is time the law is changed so professional drivers are not put through this harassment any longer. With any other job, you have the right to work past 65 if you wish to without having to prove that you can do your job. There’s an acute shortage of truck drivers in this country and part of the problem is the fact that even though you have driven three or four million safe miles, the minute you turn 65 you no longer are qualified to do your job that you spent your whole life doing.
Most of these highly-trained and experienced professionals do not renew their A licence at 65 because they feel if they have to go through this every year, they may as well hang up their keys and find something else to do.
If anyone wishes to contact me they may do so at 519-535-3244. Maybe as a group we can get this ridiculous law abolished.
Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry. All posts by Truck News