Tough topic

Okay, here’s the set up. Here in Boston (and the surrounding area) over the last 7-8 weeks, there have been a rash of accidents involving elderly drivers (70+), including one in which a little 4-year-old girl was killed in a crosswalk, and another in which an old man plowed into the front doors of a Wal-Mart, causing minor injuries to an infant and his mother. One just happened yesterday where an older lady was leaving her church and hit a grandmother and her two grandsons, one of whom was in a stroller and smacked his face off the pavement pretty hard.

The whole state is up in arms about this, screaming that older drivers need to be retested and/or stripped of their license after a set age, generally said to be 85. AARP and other old folks groups are claiming that’s age bias, that to take away their right to drive, we deprive them of their independence.

How do you all feel about it? As for me, I think that it’s kind of odd that the most common form of transportation in this country is motor vehicles, and yet you only test once in your life for it. Here in Mass, it’s permit at 16, license at 16 1/2, and that’s that. You NEVER need to requalify again in your life. Oh, and the way it was explained to me years ago, when I got my DL was that a license was a privilege NOT a right.

My proposal is thus. You get your permit at 16 (or whatever the age is where you are), your DL at 16 1/2 (or, again, whatever the age is there), and then take a written and vision test every ten years to age 60. Then it’s every 5 years until 75, and every year after that. Fail part of it, written or vision, you try again in one week AND take a road test. Fail that, you’re done for one year. And for older drivers, your doctor finds so much as ONE hint of dementia…ZAP, you’re done, off the road, here’s a bus schedule and the number to a good taxi service.

I know it’s unrealistic to think that will ever pass, but something needs to be done, and not just for elderly drivers. I see ten times the accidents caused by younger people, generally caused with a cell phone attached to the offending parties ear.

Okay, rant over. Sorry it ran on. Just wanted to get my thoughts out there, and see what ya’ll thought about it, and if it’s as big a problem wherever you are.

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I’m opposed to a rule which says you cannot drive past a certain age because it’s not fair to seniors who ARE decent drivers. I would not be opposed to requiring a vision test past a certain age though.

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My old man is 63, and I think he’s a better driver than I am, and I make my living at it. My grandfather is 80something, and he can still drive very well. I too am opposed to an elderly-only testing policy. Which is why I said everyone gets tested. No discrimination then, right?

And yea, Vickie, I may have set my bar kinda high. A week “suspension” might be kind of draconian, I’ll admit. How’s this. Fail a vision test, you have a month to get it fixed and retest and THEN you get suspended if you fail again. Fail the written, you get two weeks to study up and retest. Fail the second one, it’s a 6-month suspension. That would make for better drivers, I think, and maybe cut down on the accidents. Which, of course, would cut into my business, but meh, there’s still breakdowns, flat tires, jump starts and the occasional repo to do.

I doubt there’s an easy fix to this, but man, am I sick of turning on the news and hearing about another person who died or was seriously hurt by a stupid driver, elderly or not. The newest one is this 47-year-old woman who stuck a guy putting his baby in the car seat. Oh, and then she fled the scene (made it 1/10 of a mile before someone MADE her stop). Guy just died today. Want the kicker? She’s been found “at fault” or “mostly at fault” in FIVE ACCIDENTS since 2004. Why the hell did she still have a license? It’s crap like that I want to see fixed.

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I live in southern pa,

I have a friend who works for penndot.

he told me that at the age of 20 they have right to call you in at any time given 2 weeks notice for any part of the exam, written, visual, or road test.

They just did it to my girlfriend, she got called in to do a written exam.

She has a clean driving record, minus when she was rear ended two years ago.

I agree with this random lottery/draft system to calling people in.

It is more efficient.

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I wish Mass would do something similar. I don’t know about the lottery/random draw thing, though. I still say test everyone.

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As sad as the four year old dying story, this is not the worst of the worst.

The elderly driving, so long as they pass at the very least a vision test and a reflexive test, should be able to drive like anyone else.

There are however, a few groups of people I do want to get the fuck off the road. People who have been convicted of drunk driving more than once, people who are uninsured (considering our economy, fuck those people right now), and teenagers are a few examples.

The last one I don’t mind so much if, say a parent is involved but I don’t think they should be able to drive alone until they’re 18. For every one or two decent teenage drivers, there’s probably 10 that consider their car to be a bumper car.

Oh, and before I forget, add people who talk on cell phones while driving. I’m willing to give drunk drivers one last chance but a person using a cell phone has complete coherency aside from being stupid enough to use one while driving. Friend of mine from Ivy Tech saw me waiting for the bus one day and pulled to the side of the road to give me a ride. After we started driving, I then found out he enjoys texting while driving. We ran two red lights and someone who had the right-of-way nearly rammed us from the side.

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Holy shit. I find myself totally agreeing with Jaks. Hell just froze over and pigs flew from my ass…I kid, Jaks.

I totally agree with the DUI part most of all. I’ve lost too many good friends to both sides of DUI over the years and seen about a bazillion DUI related accidents over the years. Life ain’t baseball, right? Screw three strikes. You drive drunk, you’re done. And not for 60 days, either. I say at least 10 years. And if you happen to kill someone while drunk, forget it. That’s life without a DL. And if you kill someone while drink and don’t have a license because, say, you already lost it for DUI, you go to jail for a long, long time. Actually, that last one is already enforced…at least it is here in Mass

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I don’t believe that random tests would solve the aged driver problem. What I do think is that there should be a simulator at all licensing centers. It should be required that everyone take a simulated practical driving exam where a random situation presents itself (like a pedestrian stepping out into traffic for instance). If they hit the person, or another vehicle during the test, or lose control of the vehicle, they fail, period (one of the random situations needs to be in the snow in the northern states too).

EDIT: The test needs to be taken at all drivers license renewals.

As far as stupidity while driving, I was on my way to a customer’s two weeks ago. There was a Mercedes in front of me that would occasionally swerve when the road turned. He would over correct, and then do it again. He barely escaped hitting two different cars (four lane road).

The problem was, he was in the left lane and doing forty eight in a fifty five. I decided that it was safer to go around him than wait for him to hit a vehicle and have to deal with both cars out of control.

I honestly thought the guy was falling asleep at the wheel, or drunk. That’s how erratic this was. Imagine my surprise when I pulled along side him and he had The Wall Street Journal open over the steering wheel, reading the damn paper!

I must have honked my horn seven or eight times as I went by, and yet, not ten seconds later, he swerved again.

This type of thing should get your license revoked for at least a year in my opinion.


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a problem with testing, ignoring the “rights of people”, is. that cost it would be a lot more expensive to test at the DMV. Frankly i think testing should be done with getting insurgence. Since i already have to get a health check up just to get car insurance why not tack on the reflexes and check that you know the rules of the road every couple of years.

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Look, if I can go to BestBuy and pick up a PS3, and set of active steering wheel and pedals for under $500.00, then a state agency can get one for less, add a monitor and have a program coded that would solve this issue. The total cost shouldn’t exceed $1500.00 per location. That would be a good use of my tax dollars, from my point of view.

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Look, if I can go to BestBuy and pick up a PS3, and set of active steering wheel and pedals for under $500.00, then a state agency can get one for less, add a monitor and have a program coded that would solve this issue. The total cost shouldn’t exceed $1500.00 per location. That would be a good use of my tax dollars, from my point of view.[/quote]

BB a friend of mine lives out in Cali and told me the police have those systems set up running on XBOX 360’s he is a tech/install personnel he told me the cost ranges from 600-1300 depending on the variations they want installed.

so I agree yeah they could do it and it would work.

In truth that is no impeding on anyone’s rights. Nor is it ignoring their rights.

It is a privilege to drive not a constitutionally protected right.

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It would be good to require regular health checkups for drivers over a certain age and also to give doctors the power to have your license stripped if they find you medically unfit to drive. And yeh - I’m in favour of re-testing after a point.

Re: Tough topic

Driving is not a right. You have to earn the right to drive. And so what if it’s ageism?

LIke it or not, as we get older, our reflexes get duller, our peripheral eyesight loses it’s sharpness, and our hearing declines. And we’re talking about 1000 lb machines traveling at 30-60 mph. Fuck their rights. They should get tested more frequently than young people.