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Thread: You are too old to drive???

  1. #1
    A. M. Jauregui Guest

    Default You are too old to drive???

    I was wondering what my fellow E-Budo members thoughts are on the subject of allowing the elderly to operate motor vehicles. I ask for a few days before the start of this thread there was an incident in Santa Monica, California were an 86 year old man drove though the farmers’ market there killing several and injuring many more.

    LA Times: A Whirlwind for Rescuers and Hospitals.

    Snippets from the above mentioned article:

    An 86-year-old man, driving faster than 50 mph, had run through 2 ? blocks of vendors and shoppers at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market. In the car's wake, bodies and boxes had flown into the air with such force that witnesses later said they thought a bomb had exploded.

    He walked on. Other bodies, some already covered by passersby, lay in the street. He began to count the injured, those people who would need help. He stopped counting at 26, and a third of the way through the market he turned back to tell rescue workers how bad it was.

  2. #2
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    This story went "international" and we saw coverage of it on our TV News bulletins the other night. Sounds truly shocking, even after all those other market place tragedies, so often caused by mortar bomb or suicidal terrorists.

    I think the knowledge that ONE guy in a car can do that much damage is quite disturbing. The motor car is a weapon in the wrong hands, a loaded weapon. Aren't we lucky that most car drivers are careful enough for most of the time.
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

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    As for the Drivers age... not really all that relevant I think. It suggests to me that he was most likely an experienced driver (not many Eighty-year-old Learner Drivers). I think the Insurance Companies have it all worked out, the younger drivers are far more likely to have accidents. There is probably a curve that starts coming back the other way when the elderly dull reaction times and failing eyesight kick in. I wonder at what age the premiums start creeping up again.

    I passed my Test when I was 19. Then only drove a van for about six months. Last October I bought my first car and began to drive again after a 19 year gap. No legal requirement to take a test or a refresher course, I just got in the seat and started the engine of my "loaded weapon".
    David Noble
    Shorinji Kempo (1983 - 1988)
    I'll think of a proper sig when I get a minute...

    For now, I'm just waiting for the smack of the Bo against a hard wooden floor....

  4. #4
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    There is a point in time where a persons body is just to old to drive. I see way too many older people on the road doing 25 mph on a 55 mph road on which people regularly do 60 - 65 mph. At that speed they are a wreck waiting to happen. I know a lady who just renewed her license by mail yet she is legally blind and has a cane so she doesn't walk into things. My family took my great Aunts license away when she could no longer drive safely.

    I may be a little harder on older people because I was hit by an 87 year old lady. We were in a double left turn lane and I was in the outside lane. When the light turned green we both took off and she crossed lanes and hit my door. We both stopped and then she pulled forward scraping down the rest of my car instead of backing up. When we got into the parking lot she started screaming at me because she had a green light. I told her we both had a green light and the my friend had called the police on his cell phone. She continued to yell at me and the police officer that she had the green light. After she got the ticket she told the cop she was suing the police department because it was my fault. After 45 minutes of explaining she still didn't understand how the intersection worked. If you can't read the signs and figure out how the intersection works you shouldn't be driving.
    Chris Lechtanski

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    I've seen way too many feeble-minded old farts behind the wheel. Starting when I was 12 and one ran a stop sign figuring that if the car in front of him could make it, so could he. Well, the car in front of him almost hit me on my bicycle, but this old coot knocked me rolling across two lanes of major thoroughfare and totalled my bike. If there had been any traffic at that moment I would have been dead. He was around 80 and nearly blind even with his glasses on. I hoped that nearly killing someone would have knocked some sense into him, but a week later he drove up and gave me a new bike.

    Since then I have seen innumerable little blue-haired ladies well into their 80's or 90's cause accidents left and right due to their lack of responses, near blindness, senility, what have you. The most memorable for me was a couple years back when this ancient old crone decided to make a U-turn on a major street from the parking lane without looking for oncoming traffic. We slammed on the brakes (along with a dozen other cars) and barely missed ramming inot her car dead center as she whipped around, totally oblivious to the many near-accidents she caused.

    Old women are the worst - most of them couldn't drive that well when they were younger. After 75 the testing for driver's licenses needs to be much more rigorous and done at least yearly.

    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

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    I think there should be a strict testing regime for all drivers. It should include measuring ones reaction time and reflexes. Knowledge and eyesight are not the only important factors here.
    C Parks

    "A man who will lie, there is no evil he will not do"

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    I think that after a certain age, people should prove that they are still safe to drive. If not, then take their keys away from them. But there must also be a good eldely transport system in place to accomodate that kind of system.

    Stan
    .

    Dojo Chief Crash Test Dummy

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    Just written something similar on the 'stella' thread.Driving is very dangerous!Your right David, it is amazing that we are not just a teensy bit stricter with our laws.Pass your test with no motorway driving, then off you go! Straight out onto the M25!(Actually thinking about that, thats not a good example, not much speed gathered there )But you get my point. Another thing, I think all new car drivers should be made to take a basic motorbike test as well. To many drivers out there with absolutely no concept of what it's like to be on a bike and how quickly we can come and go from the drivers blind spots(David, be warned! )And don't even get me started on scooter riders.......
    Sean Dixie

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    There was actually an article in Newsweek last week BEFORE the market incident in the "My Turn" section where an older woman wrote about how difficult it had been for her to arrive at the realization that she was now a menace on the road and should no longer drive. She said it represented a loss of independence, not to mention a painful reminder of mortality. But she also said that it had to be done, before she killed someone. A very prescient publication, as it turns out.
    As for the old man in the marketplace killings, it has been suggested in the media that he had numerous medical problems including senility. Police reports indicate that he stomped on the accelerator rather than the brake, then failed to realize what he had done until he was already traveling at a very high rate of speed. There is no way people like this should be driving, but with the AARP as powerful as it is, good luck fixing it.
    Chuck Munyon
    charles.munyon@gmail.com
    University Hospitals, Case Medical Center

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    After 75 the testing for driver's licenses needs to be much more rigorous and done at least yearly.
    You go Harvey!!!

    Unfortunately these Q-tips vote too much; and politicians are inherently gutless.

    And there are the middle-aged children who are torn between feelings of guilt, familial loyalty, and shall we also throw in self-serving worry if they push too hard and take the keys dad or mom will write them out of the inheritance.


    Perhaps the one good thing that might come out of this tragedy is that the Californian victims sue this 85-year old killing geezer (or his estate) for every penny. Then it may motivate some adult children to act out of financial self-interest to take keys away, or at least give them another debating point with mom or dad at the intervention meeting.

    Anything to get these drooling, dawdling "accidents waiting to happen" off the road.
    John McPartland
    Well, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just 'cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!  I mean, if I went 'round saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away!

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    It's not that the old folks at AARP vote too much, its that the rest of us don't vote enough.

    Hell, most women don't even vote at all until they hit menopause.

    Harvey Moul

    Fish and visitors stink after three days - Ben Franklin

  12. #12
    kenshorin Guest

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    The other problem is that most of these people are not charged with anything due to their advanced age. They usually get away, "Oh I'm the senile old man, its not my fault". Start charging a few of them with motor vehicle homicide and see how many of them ditch their licenses quick.

    If we can charge people with driving under the influence with slowed reaction time, why can't we charge people with driving while old with slowed reaction time? The problem is the same....

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    Ken- the voice of reason!
    Sean Dixie

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