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Mixup ends in suspension of diabetic man’s driver’s licence in Victoria

Delayed mail and letters land driver in car trouble
Perry Chow, who has diabetes, stands beside the pickup truck he wasn’t allowed to drive for five weeks while his licence was suspended. (Ella Matte/News Staff)

A Saanich driver with diabetes had his licence suspended for five weeks after an organization failed to notify the insurance carrier that his medical records had not been received.

Perry Chow lives out his retired days in Royal Oak. What the retiree didn’t expect was his blood sugar levels to drop substantially in June 2023. To check on his levels, Chow was going to the doctor’s to get blood tests done every two weeks.

Chow tested his blood sugar levels three times a day, continued to go to the hospital for his regular blood work, and sent each of the results to the doctor. Weeks later, Chow’s blood sugar results were returning to their normal levels.

A letter that was dated and supposed to arrive on July 25 was sent to Chow, informing him that he must submit his medical reports to RoadSafetyBC within 30 days of the date of the letter or his licence would be cancelled. Chow did not receive that letter until Oct. 13, passing his 30-day notice. Chow was informed his licence had been suspended when he was sent a letter on Sept. 28 that was dated and supposed to arrive on Sept. 14.

“Definitely a big lack of communication,” said an upset Chow.

Shortly after receiving the bad news on Sept. 28, Chow sent his medical records to the wrong fax number again without being informed.

On Oct. 13, when he received the letter that was supposed to come on July 25, Chow finally received the correct fax number that was supposed to let him fast-track the faxing process to meet his medical records deadline in time. The retiree’s licence had been suspended for five weeks until his licence was reinstated on Oct. 25.

The Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General previously told Black Press Media in a detailed statement about this issue that it “cannot respond to the specifics of any individual’s file due to privacy considerations.” Although the ministry was unable to respond to specific cases, they provided a statement addressing cases generally.

“Driver Medical Fitness files are triaged by the program based first on medical urgency and then reviewed in the date order they are received. As drivers have a wide range of medical conditions, it is difficult to estimate timeframes for reviews, due to the unique nature of each file,” stated the ministry. “RoadSafetyBC recognizes that current delays in processing times are frustrating for people and is currently engaged in a transformation project that will digitize and transform Driver Medical Fitness to increase the efficiency of the program. We are also looking at ways to ensure increasing volumes can be managed while meeting service standards. The project aims to reduce processing times and backlogs, improve customer service and communication, and improve tracking and reporting of data through automated information collection methods.”

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About the Author: Ella Matte

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