Driver Screening and Evaluation Program
Volume I: Project Summary and Model Program Recommendations
A number of issues bearing on Model Program development that were considered in this research hinged on a better understanding of the population for whom jurisdictions might implement screening and evaluation activities. Accordingly, a questionnaire was developed and distributed to Driver License Administrators in the 50 United States and 12 Canadian Provinces to broadly establish the cost and time parameters that could influence implementation of Model Program activities, while addressing details of the Model Program concept which conceivably could be impacted by their legal, ethical, or policy implications in each licensing jurisdiction in North America.
A central concern at this point in the project was the potential scope of screening and evaluation programs. Most important was to discover whether, in the opinion of licensing officials, expanded driver screening activities would likely apply to: (a) all drivers over a given age applying for license renewal; (b) only a (presumably much smaller) subgroup of "high-risk" drivers who are referred to the DMV through various sources including physicians, occupational therapists, or other health care professionals, friends or family, social service providers, law enforcement or the courts; or (c) both of these sets of drivers. This primary question was asked first in the survey, and defined the "frame of reference" for licensing officials as they responded to the additional queries.
A total of 16 items were clustered in four groups on the survey: (1) the initial question addressing the potential scope of screening and evaluation activities within a jurisdiction; (2) the feasibility of specific screening program enhancements; (3) the cost justification needed to expand screening activities within jurisdictions; and (4) the time constraints on conducting expanded screening activities.
The survey questionnaire was reviewed by NHTSA and by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) prior to distribution. It was produced as an AAMVA Memorandum on AAMVA letterhead and was mailed to Driver License Administrators in the 50 United States plus Washington, DC, plus the 12 Canadian Provinces existing at the time, under the signature of AAMVA's Director of Driver Services. The survey form is included in appendix B.
Initially, responses were received and tabulated from officials in 58 of the 62 jurisdictions contacted, and a draft summary of results was presented at the AAMVA conference held at Incline Village, NV, in 1997 with a request for corrections to ensure that the information subsequently reported did not misrepresent any Agency's policies or practices. The results reported below reflect corrections received from one jurisdiction, plus data from two additional jurisdictions that returned their surveys after the AAMVA conference, yielding a total of 60 respondents--47 States and the District of Columbia, plus 12 Canadian Provinces.
Results are presented for the 60 AAMVA member jurisdictions participating in the survey by summarizing the number and percentages selecting each response alternative for each item, as follows.
|(a) all drivers
over a specified age
who apply for license renewal
|(b) only a "high risk" subgroup of drivers, likely to include a disproportionate share of older persons, who are brought to the DMV's attention through various referral mechanisms||(c) both of these sets
Only 6 respondents (10 percent) replied that all drivers over a specified age should be
targeted for expanded screening procedures upon application for license renewal (answer a).
Responses from the remaining jurisdictions were almost equally divided between alternatives b and
c. The larger share of respondents (28 of 60, or 47 percent) replied that the expanded driver
screening procedures should be applied to only the "high risk" subgroup (answer b), while 26 of 60
(43 percent) replied that both sets of drivers (answer c) should undergo expanded functional
The majority of the respondents (40 of 60, or 67 percent) answered in the affirmative. The remaining 20 respondents (33 percent) replied that graduated licensing for seniors would not be feasible. Of the 40 respondents who reported that graduated licensing would be feasible, 26 reported that this would require a change in legislation and 14 replied that no change in legislation would be required. Of the 20 respondents who replied that graduated licensing was not feasible, 16 replied that a change in legislation would be necessary, and 4 did not respond to the second half of this question.
Eighty-five percent of the respondents (50 of 59) responded in the affirmative and 15 percent (9 of 59) responded that this was not feasible.
Twenty-seven of the 60 respondents (45 percent) replied that the DMV would provide all screening activities; 38 of the 60 respondents (63 percent) replied that the DMV would provide some screening activities while others would be privatized, and 1 respondent replied that all screening activities would be privatized. It should be noted that responses to these three questions were not mutually exclusive; 6 States/Provinces replied "yes" to the first two items (Alberta, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Vermont, and Washington State), and Oregon responded "yes" to all three items.
Seventy-six percent of the respondents (44 of 58) responded that this would be feasible, while 24 percent (14 of 58) replied that it would not. Two jurisdictions did not respond to this survey item.
Seventy-two percent of the respondents (43 of 60) replied in the affirmative, while 28 percent (17 of 60) replied that this practice would not be feasible.
Eighty-five percent of the respondents (51 of 60) replied that this practice would be feasible, and 15 percent (9 of 60) responded that it would not be feasible.
Seventy-eight percent of the respondents (47 of 60) responded in the affirmative, while 22 percent (13 of 60) responded that this practice would not be feasible.
Ninety-seven percent of the respondents (57 of 59) replied that this practice would be feasible, and 3 percent (2 of 59) replied that this would not be feasible (Massachusetts and Montana). One jurisdiction did not respond to this survey item.
Eighty-six percent of the respondents (50 of 58) replied that this would be feasible, while 14 percent (8 of 58) replied that it would not be feasible. Two jurisdictions did not respond to this survey item.
Ninety-two percent of the respondents (55 of 60) replied that this practice would be feasible while 8 percent (5 of 60) replied that it would not be feasible.
Ninety percent of the respondents (54 of 60) replied that this practice would be feasible while 10 percent (6 of 60) replied that it would not be feasible.
Sixty-four percent of the respondents (38 of 59) reported that this practice would be feasible to implement while 36 percent (21 of 59) replied that it would not be feasible. One jurisdiction did not respond to this survey item.
Seventy-eight percent of the respondents (47 of 60) indicated that this practice would
be feasible, while 22 percent (13 of 60) responded that it would not be feasible.
The majority of respondents (30 of 58, or 52 percent) chose response "a," that costs of new test procedures would need to be offset substantially or completely by savings in other Department activities. The balance of the responses were distributed equally between alternatives "b" and "c." Twenty-four percent of the respondents (14 of 58) indicated that savings would need to be offset to a significant extent (response "b"), while 24 percent of the respondents (14 of 58) chose response "c," that costs would have to be offset only minimally or not at all by savings in other Department activities. Alberta responded that they would only support a user-pay system. Two jurisdictions did not respond to this survey item.
This question produced the most variation in responses, with approximately one-quarter of the respondents choosing each of the four alternatives. Twenty-five percent of the respondents (15 of 59) stated that the upper time limit for testing would be under 15 minutes (response "a"). Twenty-nine percent of the respondents (17 of 59) indicated that testing could feasibly last for 15 to 30 minutes (response "b"). Twenty-five percent (15 of 59) stated that testing could utilize from 30 to 45 minutes (response "c"). The smallest percentage of the respondents (20 percent, or 12 of 59) indicated that testing could last 45 minutes to 1 hour or more (response "d"). Rhode Island did not choose any of the alternatives, and instead responded only that test times vary greatly. One jurisdiction did not respond to this survey item.
Overall, the responses to this survey indicated substantial differences among licensing officials across North America regarding the potential for changing the policies and practices in this area. Current project efforts were encouraged by the consistently large majorities that provided affirmative responses to the series of questions under Item 2 addressing the feasibility of expanded and/or or enhanced screening activities. At the same time, while there is flexibility with respect to the amount of time that an agency could allocate to driver screening, Model Program recommendations are not likely to be implemented unlikely unless the associated costs can be offset "to a significant extent" or completely by savings in other Department activities.
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