An evaluation of Ontario’s Group Education Session Program (GES) for licence renewal of seniors aged 80 and above

Author(s): Ward Vanlaar, Marisela Mainegra Hing, Robyn Robertson, Dan Mayhew, David Carr

Slidedeck Presentation:

4A - Mainegra-Hing


In 1996, the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario (MTO) implemented the Group Education Session (GES), which is a mandatory program for drivers aged 80 and older as part of their licence renewal requirements. This study presents an evaluation of the GES to assess its impact on road safety in Ontario, as well as its effect on the safety of individual drivers who participated in the program. Methods used include time series analysis of senior driver records both before and after implementation of the GES and logistic regression and survival analysis examining senior driver records prior to, and following, their participation in the GES. Using time series analysis there is some evidence to suggest that the GES had a positive impact on road safety. According to the other analyses, participation in the GES is associated with a decrease in the odds of collisions and convictions, regardless of whether drivers pass their first attempt of the knowledge test or not. However, failing the first road test and/or having demerit points are strong indicators of future collision and conviction involvement. Results from this evaluation suggest the GES has had a protective effect on the safety of senior drivers. Recommendations to strengthen the GES focus on improving the educational components as well as the screening components of the program within MTO’s existing program framework.