Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Old is Too Old to Renew a Driver’s License Without a Driving Test?

You may have heard the story not too long ago about the 101-year-old woman who got her driver’s license renewed until 2011!!! There are many stories out there of vintage people renewing their licenses and I say good for them. I’m always encouraged when I meet a 90-year-old person who’s as sharp as a tack, and very independent. It gives me hope that you can live a very functional and independent life at that age. None-the-less, it doesn’t mean you are still going to be a good driver 3 years from now!!!! Who’s to say they don’t have a death wish themselves and are of sound enough mind to look for an accident? After all 100 years is a long freakin time to live. And with all the aches and pains I have at 30, I can’t imagine them being 3 times worse or more than now.

There are plenty of tragic stories out there of 80 and 90 year old drivers running people down and killing them, accidentally of course, and not even noticing that something is or was terribly wrong. I have a real problem with them not having to take some kind of driving test every year they want to keep their driver’s license. They should have to prove that they are alert and paying attention to the road and the surroundings related to the road.

Now I realize that some people can have good days and that the driving test won’t catch everyone that shouldn’t be driving, but it would be a start and could help keep dangerous drivers off of the road. I believe it is also the responsibility of families and friends to intervene if their vintage family member or friend is showing signs of being hazardous to themselves and other drivers by being on the road.

I also understand that there are 16, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 year olds that shouldn’t be driving who have been terrible drivers since they were acquired a vehicle. I also understand that sometimes terrible drivers get incredibly lucky, (or maybe it’s the people around them) and they never get tickets for reckless driving, or speeding through a school zone, or causing accidents. So I suppose maybe it would be fair to lump our vintage family and friends in with this group. Except that I’ll bet this group is more dangerous than the 101-year-old lady driving around. If there were a way to make this group pass a test every year without bogging down the system, I’d support it. But there are so many stupid and crazy drivers out there that think they own the road and think they are above the rules of the road, that I don’t know that this would be feasible. So I will have to continue being proactive and watching out for them. I think the over 80 crowd is more feasible to require yearly testing. Shoot, I don’t plan on driving at that age. I’ll hitchhike if I have to. Maybe they will have figured out the whole teleportation thing by then and this will no longer be an issue. I can only hope.

In the meantime, drive safe, and keep an eye out for the crazies out there. And be honest and forceful if necessary if your vintage family members and friends shouldn't drive anymore.

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