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Mandated Driving and Skills Tests for Elderly

7635 Views 39 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  captainwhoopass
OMG! First Post...

Sure under 24 yr old males may be more crash-prone, but if a young male had plowed his vehicle through a crowded market, do you think there would be any leniency in his treatment by the police and general public? I think not. Involuntary manslaughter or some such charge would definately be brought against him.

Why do the elderly get special treatment? The way I see it, taking control of a vehicle is accepting the responsibilities of your actions. If you have a history of epilepsy, have vision imparements--or you find yourself crashing into the back of your garage (like the 86yr old) you can't take the stance that killing someone with your vehicle was NOT your fault. Ooops, sorry Mrs. Doe I didn't mean to kill your daughter, I'm just old.

Why are so many problems in todays society related to people who believe in freedom of choice, but never accept responsibility for the result of their actions?


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Im with theBob on this one. As for how to regulate: retest everyone every 5 years for whatever liscence. This once and done is crazy so much has changed since this guy got his liscence. Lets see 86. That means this guy was possibly issued his liscence in 1930 something. Do you think anything has changed since then? In 1933 there were still cars on the road where the throttle was a lever that you worked with your hand. Maybe that is what confused him.
The 24 year old man has complete control over his faculties in most circumstances. The 87 year old man, comparatively, does not.

My uncle is a great rider. He showed me the ropes on the road back in the late 80's. But even though he's only 57, he's dialed back his two-wheeled pace a bit due to his reduced ability to react with the quickness he had at my age. He hates it, but he realizes it, admits it, and accepts it.

People steadily lose their ability to rapidly process information as they age. Processing visual information is key, but so is being able to determine that your foot is in fact on the gas instead of the brake. And what happens when the brain isn't the only factor? What happens when it's physically difficult for elderly to do the things they once did?

I was almost clipped the other day by an old guy who was barrelling out of his driveway in reverse. Not once did he look from side to side while backing. Not once! Why? He probably CAN'T!!!! And he does this several times a day...

Information processing, reaction time, proper reaction, multiple points of attention, all of these things decline when someone drinks booze and gets behind the wheel. But they also decline with age.

Physically, muscles, nerves, joints, eyesight, hearing, feeling, etc., all deteriorate with age.

AARP needs to relent on this issue. I understand that the elderly need to feel empowered over their own lives, and that they deserve as much respect as anyone else. But that doesn't mean we should all be imperiled by them.

I think men and women should be re-tested every two years once they reach 65 years old. There really is no other way to deal with this issue.

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Update - death toll now stands at 10...

I heard reports that the gentleman got out of his car immediately following and was actually yelling at people, something along the lines of "why didn't you people get out of the way?"

Anyone else hear anything similar?
While it's true that 24 year olds may process information faster than 70 year olds, it's also true that 24 year olds can be so sadly lacking in judgement and maturity that the increased info processing is no benefit at all. What advantage is it for someone to make a stupid decision quickly? Jeez, listen to the guys who were whining that they can't legally drive 157mph down I-5 a couple of theads ago.

But on the other hand age does bring slower reactions in general so a person may make a correct decision too slowly.

Make everyone do a simple reaction test when they renew their licenses. Something like have the person sit in a chair and measure how long it takes him to take his foot off of a dummy accelerator and activate a dummy brake pedal when a light flashes. If the person can't to that in a fairly short time then deny a license no matter what age.

And what about people who wander through life so buzzed on drugs, either illegal like smack or legal like Paxil, that they are constantly spaced out? Legal drugs contribute to far more stupid decisions than most people realize. Once again a simple reaction time test might catch a lot of these druggies too.

Personally, I'm tired of hearing the elderly whine so much. They are the richest demographic in America, yet to listen to the AARP you'd think they were all dying because they have to choose between food and medicine. What rot.
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I guess the way they look at it, they've lived their lives, they can afford to be less careful. Just today I was getting on the highway with an old lady in front of me. Nothing like entering high speed traffic at 40mph. While I can appreciate the fact they don't want to give up their mobility, I more greatly appreciate the ability to breathe, to sleep above ground, and other things that living people enjoy. But hey, look on the bright side, at least the elderly gentleman survived. Since people live longer these days, he still probably has many happy years ahead of him. Unfortunately, I'm sure his car is dinged from all the bodies crashing into him, I guess a new car is in order.
I am a strong believer in natural selection. So, in reference to the helmet laws I have to say that if you don't wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle you probably get what you deserve when you crash. The problem with that, is that when some idiot goes out and smashes his melon on a curb somewhere, I end up getting stuck with higher insurance rates and taxes down the line to pay for it. I'm all for personal freedoms and responsibilities, but when someone else's stupidity starts to cost me money I believe that the government has to step in with some regulation. It is all very similar to an elderly driver who decides to get behind the wheel of a car when he no longer possesses the mental or physical attributes necessary to control the vehicle safely. Ask the family members of the people who lost their lives in Santa Monica who paid for that particular lack of judgement.
costs of non-helmet use

It costs less to plant the helmetless retard in the ground than it does to treat people who survive as a result of their gear.

I was recently rear-ended by another rider on the road. I was in full roadracing gear and suffered NO broken bones, and NO roadrash, but did suffer some permanent shoulder dislocation/separation. Total cost to the ins. co when this is all done may be upwards of 70-80k.

It doesn't cost anywhere near 70-80k to plant the helmetless retard in the ground.
Re: costs of non-helmet use

I don't mind you having such a calloused perspective. In fact I rather enjoy it. But, having worked with the Special Olympics for many years, I'd like to ...(please fill in the appropriate barbaric response of your choice)... for your insulting use of the word "retard". Go walk in their shoes for a bit and see if you don't choose your words more wisely. There are other words to use, such as a$$ hole, **** wad, fool, etc. Many of the fine folks I've worked with bust their butts just to be able to pick up a toothbrush. They try very hard to forge some sort of decent life out of what they've been dealt. Please don't associate such poor behavior with "retarded" citizens. It is insulting to them. Please know this goes beyond PC issues. Instead of bringing the above-mentioned dead people down to the level of the retarded, you've brought the retarded folks down to their level. It's been a while since I worked with these folks but I think this population is referred to as having a developmental disability. In case you were curious, cared or whatever.
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You seem to think increased governmental regulation will save you money.
Just read the story about the riders. What a nightmare. It should inspire each of us to bone up on our evasive riding techniques, and maybe take a skills course. You can't count on anyone but yourself...
In the next 10 to 20 years, as the baby boomers move into the Depends generation, I can only wonder how the tables will turn as increased governmental regulations start to impinge on our right to own and operate a motorcycle. We will all be faced with the prospect of losing our right to operate a motorcycle because of failing health. We need to be careful what we ask for. We will have to live with it later on. Will the AMA become our AARP?
Ummmm. Once upon a time there were no helmet laws. A man with a laborer's job could afford to buy a house and raise a family... my Dad was one of those people.

Today we have thousands of govt mandates and regulations designed to make us "safer". We have helmet laws in almost all 50 states. In case you hadn't noticed, in spite of the IIHS getting its wish with helmet laws, insurance rates and taxes continue to go up.

How would people take this tragic event if instead someone opened up with a machine gun and killed these poor people.

A couple of good excuses:

Intead of saying "I accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the brake", just say, "I accidentally put it on 'full automatic' instead of 'safe' ".

Or the classic excuse for murdering a biker, "I didn't see them".

These excuses should be good for a spot on Oprah.
A friend was recently seriously injured when an elderly woman was driving on the wrong side of the road around a curve and hit him almost head on. If he had not been riding a Gold Wind, which absorbed an amazing impact, he would likely be dead in our opinion, and would certainly have had more extensive injuries.
Do you expect me to believe that the Government and the IHS would tell us lies. Mr Nixon's been gone for along time now you know.

All government and Insurance industry workers are out there protecting us from ourselves now, you should be a little more thankful sir.
How did I make it??

This is not mine, but fitting. Enjoy:

According to today's regulators, bureaucrats and Darwin,those of us who were

kids in the 50's, 60's, or 70's, probably shouldn't have survived.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint.

We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or

cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.

Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking ...

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors!

We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it,

but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one soft drink with four friends! From one bottle, and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode

down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into

the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day , as long as we were

back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day.

No cell phones. Unthinkable!

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms.

We had friends! We went outside and found them.

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were

no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents?

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out any eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors!

Tests were not adjusted for any reason.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the school or the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility --- and we learned how to deal with it. Congratulations.

Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids before lawyers and government regulated our lives for our own good
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Actually, the 50+ crowd is the target of the AARP for membership. They know if they get them "young" they have them for life. A few of my freinds actually got membership info sent to them the week of their 50th birthday (thats some good info mining there)

As far as this idiot, who did not have the brains to remove himself from driving, he should be sent to jail for manslaughter. I use this arguement, if I am cleaning my gun and acidentally discharge it into my neighbors house accross the street and kill him, I get involentary man (probably). If I get in my car and back up into his house and kill in I would most likely get off with a suspended liscense and reckless driving. Murder is murder, if it is in a car should not make a difference.
Aside from the blood covering the new dents, you probably couldn't distinguish them from the ones he put in it by constantly running into his garage.
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