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Tom_Glassen 07-18-2003 02:10 PM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
I don't think the treatment of the 24 year old and 86 year old are that much different. Stories of strong legal action taken against the 24 year olds in traffice accidents are more common than for the 86 year old because a much greater number of them are due to intentionally dangerous driving. This accident does not appear to be result of intentional, poor driving.

The other comment before mine has brought up a valid point to consider - why aren't all driver's tested periodically? Private pilots must take a flight review every two years. It's not a test, but an opportunity to have your flying skills and habits reviewed by someone of recognized skill (a flying instructor).

The level of skill we require of drivers is laffable compared to that required of private pilots, yet the potential for harming others because your driving mistakes is much greater than for a pilot as a result of his flying mistakes.

My .02.


Tom_Glassen 07-18-2003 02:17 PM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
Your point about reaction and judgement are good, but your proposal for testing based on reaction time misses this point.

Licensing based solely on reaction time would leave us with a population drivers akin to Play Station players - real fast but a lot of explosions. Driving/riding skill is made of many components, including both reaction and skill. I would much rather be riding with a slower reacting driver whose judgement caused him to drive in accordance with his capabilities. Think about it, this is analogous to driving/riding at a speed that suits the situation.

Driving/riding is a complex set of skills and a test, whether it be for your first license or umpteenth renewal, needs to comprehensively test these skills to be useful.


brickl 07-18-2003 04:18 PM

Re: costs of non-helmet use
Yeah, well, oddly enough, I'm steadfastly in favor of wearing head-to-toe gear when riding, but just as steadfast against the govt telling me I have to.

I just don't ride with folks who won't gear up. You know, social pressure rather than SWAT team pressure.

TuneREX 07-18-2003 07:45 PM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
The "Audios" fiasco?

Yeah, I remember that one. I also have an 81 -year-old mother and an 87-year-old uncle who still drive. It bothers me a lot, and I'm not looking forward to confronting them about it.

seruzawa 07-19-2003 03:37 AM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
My Dad had a severe stroke twenty years ago. He was half-paralyzed. The stroke also wrecked his short term memory, so he couldn't tell you it was Thanksgiving Day but he could tell you al his stories about being in the Air Corps in WWII.

Even though he was unable to move the left side of his body, if you left him in the front seat of the Lincoln unwatched he would push himself over behind the wheel and try to drive the car. He actually got it started once and got it in reverse and ran into a retaining wall.

So we took his keys away. We also had to make sure he didn't steal someone else's keys, or take and hide the spare set because he would still yell at us for not letting him drive. He said all along that he could drive perfectly well and would get really mad at us for not letting him. Even though he was paralyzed and incompetent.

It is hard, but it must be done. Otherwise the consequences to others can be disastrous.

Monterey_BS 07-19-2003 04:04 AM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
Although the tragedy in Santa Monica involves an elderly person the solution is outside the hallowed halls of the AARP. The problems, as I see them, are threefold:

(1) Driving a motor vehicle is a regulated privelege, but is practically viewed and administered as a right. People are not required to have an adequate knowledge of the law nor solid practical skills. In CA the passing score is 70%, and the written test consists of only 20 or 30 questions.

(2) Regular, periodic skills training and assessment are not required. I've held a CA license for 24yrs and was road tested only at my 1979 application. The successful completion of the written test has nothing to do with the ability to ride a bike or drive a car.

(3) There is no graduated licensing system which only allows people to drive/ride vehicles for which they have proper training. The flying analogy is that a Piper Cub pilot could never get directly into the pilot's seat of a commercial jet just because he can fly a prop plane.

The upshot of all of the above is that the processes of obtaining and retaining one's drivers license are just too easy. Until, and unless, we make it more rigorous we will always have Santa Monicas and the root cause will have little to do with age.

captainwhoopass 07-19-2003 08:30 AM

Re: costs of non-helmet use
We are in 100% agreement.

I do believe that people should be given the right to choose (where have I heard that before?) to wear a helmet or not. ABATE just peeves me because they spread false information in their quest to convince people NOT to wear helmets.

toner87 07-19-2003 08:34 AM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
Yes, I agree 100%. Make renewal of licences a more rigorous process for everyone. By doing this the accusations of "ageism" would be eliminated.. If a driver cannot pass basic vision and reflex tests they simply should not be driving - regardless of their age.

Is this such a hard concept to grasp?

Benji155 07-20-2003 12:27 PM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
Can't wait to stand in line at the DMV for my more rigorous renewal. Nothing like standing in line for hours only to realize you're in the wrong line. That part being my fault aside, it's really the happy disposition of super dike behind the counter that would make multiple trips to the DMV worthwhile. Taking a vacation day to accomplish this "rigorous process" only stretches my smile further from ear to ear. See ya outside the DMV!!!!...we would be outside...see...longer line...out the door...yeah, great...

captainwhoopass 07-22-2003 07:51 AM

Re: Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly
It most certainly IS due to intentional poor driving. The old man chose to drive when he clearly was not capable of making clear, correct decisions about how to control his vehicle. That is poor driving, and it was intentional. No different than a 24-year-old speeding down a residential street.

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