A few posts ago, I ranted about cyclists. Today? The old.
Listen, Methuselah. I empathize with your need to remain independent. You survived a couple world wars. You made it through Black Monday. You carried on through the Dust Bowl. I applaud your tenacity and your gumption. You’ve got moxie. I get it. No one is questioning your survival instinct.
Here’s the thing though…if you’re old enough to remember when the horse and buggy was the major mode of transportation, I’m not so sure you need to be driving your ’78 Cadi on my streets. Seriously.
Now I don’t know about you and this may sound discriminatory and reactionary, but I think we (and I mean ‘we’ as a society) need to pick an age at which the state requires drivers to take a practical driving exam. That means taking your sheepskin seat belt protector and beaded seat rest down to the ‘ol DMV and having the jaded, half a whack job sit in your passenger seat and test your ability to, oh I don’t know, not crash into shit.
Is that ageism (ageist?)? Check it out…don’t care. You want to be fair? No problem. I’m all for making it mandatory every four years. For everyone. You think DMV lines suck now? Just wait. My main bitch about the process? Here’s a personal example…
My Great Grandfather was about 92 years old when he passed. He still had a valid CDL. He had Alzheimer’s. DMV, in their vast wisdom, just kept sending the man a renewed license. HE WAS 92!!!! The man was born around the turn of the blessed century for crying out loud! He had no more business driving a car than I do operating one of those skyscraper cranes (random).
Another example…my Stepdad’s mom (lovely woman, by the by) stopped driving around 90 after a friend got into an accident and got sued. Smart move, right? Absolutely. The amusing part is up until then wherever she went, she had to get there by making right turns. She wasn’t comfortable making a left. !?!? She’d basically have to go four blocks to get one block from her house.
As a Motor, I have the power to issue a Retest Form. It can either be a priority exam or a regular exam. I’m pretty sure I issue more of them than most of the other Officers I work with. Call it a pet peeve. I’ve gotten a couple of folks’ licenses revoked. Not because I’m an a-hole, but because I’m looking out for the general public’s safety.
No one wants to be the heavy and take someone’s freedom from them. But at what cost? How long do we let older drivers drive for? It’s a physiological fact that as we age our perception/reaction time increases and our motor skills decline. It’s a recipe for disaster.
The bottom line is this. If I stop you and your hands are shaking so bad you can barely pull your CDL out of your wallet (and not from nerves), you’re gonna get a retest form. If you’re in your advanced years and I pull you over for a fairly serious traffic violation, you’re gonna get a retest form. If you are the primary responsible party in a traffic collision, you’re gonna get a retest form.
It just occurred to me I have nothing to fear from the old regarding this post. They fear technology and more than likely couldn’t find the Internet if it jumped on their face and wiggled. Besides, Wheel of Fortune is on. You know they’re watching it and not cruising the blogosphere.
Now, you bastards get off my lawn!!!!