Put on your crash helmet

by statia on August 29, 2003

When this happened, it sparked a huge debate about elderly drivers and whether or not you should have to turn in your license at a certain age. The reflexes aren’t what they used to be. The mind starts to go. I’m a firm believer in at least passing a law that should require the elderly to be retested to keep their license. Maybe starting at 70 and then having to get retested every five years. Maybe I’m being harsh, but a lot of times, they’re completely unaware or ignorant to other drivers on the road. I understand their not wanting to lose their freedom. I don’t begrudge them that. I couldn’t imagine one day just not being able to go out when I want to go out. I don’t want to have to depend on others. But we’re all going to get old someday. Many of us will eventually have to come to terms with this very reality, and I’m not going to like it anymore than the next person, this much I know.

After almost slamming into an elderly woman who totally blew the red arrow causing me to nearly hit her, I’m more convinced on the matter now, than I ever was, that people like that need their license revoked. She wasn’t even phased. She just kept right on going, shimmying around my car like nothing ever happened. Two full sized trucks (there was another full size suv right next to me) nearly slamming into her and she just kept going on her merry way, like her life never flashed before her eyes.

Thank god for antilock brakes.


Avatar August 29, 2003 at 5:09 pm

In the UK at age 70 you automatically receive a form which must be completed to renew your drivers licence, then this must be re done every three years, if there is anything of doubt on it a doctor is called to check you over etc. Still relies on the honesty of the individual but at least it is a step in the right direction.

sledge August 29, 2003 at 5:25 pm

seriously, i’m with you on this – getting retested at 70, etcetera.

it’s been pounded into my head that driving is a priviledge and not a right. if i can’t drive, so be it. i’ll just have my friends cart me around… if i have any by then. ;)

Niki August 29, 2003 at 5:28 pm

I think they should be retested every two years at least. Lots of things can go downhill real quick, and five years would give plenty of time for various functions to diminish or fail considerably (eyesight, hearing, reflexes, etc). Better to find out sooner than later those who would be a danger to other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Norm August 29, 2003 at 7:43 pm

I’m with you on this one. I recently moved here to Florida, God’s waiting room, and the stories I could tell about elderly drivers is amazing. Remember your blogging interview, at least that many stories about elderly drivers down here.

sean August 29, 2003 at 7:55 pm

Their driving…yeah, we’ve all seen examples of older people who just don’t have the skills anymore. Talking them is what gets me. My mom’s attitude is, I’ve been driving for 40 years, I don’t have to use my turn signals. I hate to stereotype but it really seems like *every* older person I’ve talked to gets that kind of attitude after a while, that “I’ve been here long enough I don’t have to follow the law” crap.

Now mom’s in an RV. I’m scared she’s going to kill someone. They should really require a special licence for those things, like a CDL.

Sweety August 30, 2003 at 4:31 am

Yes I totally agree with you. A couple of weeks ago (here in the netherlands) a 75 year old lady drove on the wrong/opposite lane for a few kilometres (she was going the wrong way and figured: i might as well take a turn here?). She hit 3 cars, injuring several people and killing two (including herself).

robyn August 30, 2003 at 4:39 am

Don’t even get me started as a 7-year FL resident…

Shelly August 30, 2003 at 7:58 pm

right f-ing on. I totally agree. And when I say this to people, they usually come back with “Well, how would *you* feel if someone told you you were too old to drive?” and I tell them if I were 70, and blind, and had no clue (like the lady who drove 10 freaking miles down the wrong side if the Interstate last year) I’d be happy to give up my license.

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