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View Poll Results: Should Elderly drivers be required to retake the driving test every time they renew?

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  • Yes.

    69 73.40%
  • No.

    5 5.32%
  • Only if they have had prior medical problems.

    11 11.70%
  • Just take their keys and ship em off to the old folks home.

    9 9.57%
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Thread: Elderly Drivers

  1. #1
    Caveman's Avatar
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    Elderly Drivers

    I did a freeway traffic stop Saturday night on this mini van that was failing to maintain lane... and I mean bad.
    Anyway I finally got it to stop.. This whole time I am thinking DUI.
    Well I left better then a full car length behind him and I always angle my car and approach from the passenger side on freeway stops. Well put my patrol car into park, call out the stop and just start opening my door when the vans reverse lights come on and starts coming back at me. I shut my door and and try and get my car in gear to back up when ... WHAM!!.. the van hit the front corner of my car. For a second I'm thinking this guys trying to disable me and take off being that it was accelerating when it was backing up.
    Well as I'm calling for cover I see this old mans head pop out of the drivers window and I'm thinking "".
    He ended up being an 82yr old from Idaho.. couple hundred miles away, didn't know where he was or where he was going.
    The thing about all of this is that his driver's license was recently renewed
    He obviously has no business driving or having a valid license at that.

    So what about it???
    I know some of you may have elderly parents / grandparents who depend on their vehicles, but at what expense??
    After a certain age they need to stop just being able to renew their license through the mail and take a medical and practical competency exam.

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  2. #2
    CTR man's Avatar
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    I would say it depends on the individual. Test them after age 70. We had my mother give up her driving privileges a few years ago or so after her heart attack. She is now 82. On the other hand my wifes Great grand father voluntarily gave up his at the age of 90 but he was a medical doctor for over 60 years so he knew when things were going south. He passed away in 2001 at the age of 101.


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  3. #3
    BEB
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    This is a point where, IMO of course, roadside lawyers and rights of the individual types like myself need to take a step back and look at things from a bit more detached view.

    Is it age discrimination? Sure. Should it be treated the same as other age discrimination topics under the law? Your roadside lawyer will likely try to say so.

    We don't like to face our mortality, but to avoid it behind the cover of law or defending the rights of the individual sort of misses a more general truth. There will be a day when we cannot do what we can do today. Nothing is going to change that, and ignoring it only causes harm.

    There are slippery slope arguments to be made, and countless lawsuits that will be filed I'm sure (didn't a new Texas law just tighten up testing periods for older motorists?). When you get right down to it though, the are many people who shouldn't be driving due to no intentional fault on their part and making them pass a driving test is one way to tell them it is time to stop.

  4. #4
    Tony's Avatar
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    Funny how this has been the subject of talk back radio here in Melbourne this week.

    Re-testing is a good idea, most States here do it, we don't. They make up a fair proportion of the fatals, as their age group % of total drivers, but that's not soley due to their poor driving / lack of vision ~ it's also the fact they don't take hits all that well at their age.

  5. #5
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    Seniors More Apt To Die In Crashes
    Elderly Drivers Suffer From Decreased Perception And Motor Skills


    WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2004


    (AP) Drivers in their late 50s and early 60s are among the safest on the roads, but motorists who reach retirement age are much more apt to get into an accident, a AAA study finds.

    Drivers over 85 were nearly four times as likely to die in a crash as middle-aged drivers, according to the study released Wednesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study found that as drivers grew older, they suffered increasingly from decreased perception and motor skills. Frailty also caused serious injury and death in crashes that might not kill younger people.

    The study also found that the elderly were more likely to get into crashes while turning to the left, when drivers often must make quick judgments about whether to stop or go. Drivers over 65 were 25 percent more likely to get in a crash than middle-age drivers; drivers over 85 were 50 percent more likely to get in a crash.

    Researchers have long suspected that older drivers were more likely to die in crashes, but the study quantifies that, AAA spokesman Mantill Williams said.

    Bella Dinh-Zarr, AAA's director of traffic safety, said the study also makes clear that cases like last year's accident at a farmer's market in California, when an elderly man hit and killed 10 people, are anomalies, because seniors statistically are at greatest risk when involved in accidents. The 87-year-old driver in that case survived.

    "The common misconception is that older drivers are a danger to others, but the reality is, older drivers are a danger to themselves," Dinh-Zarr said. "As a country, we should really be thinking of ways to help older drivers."

    AAA did not recommend new laws to govern elderly drivers. Twenty-two states already have such laws. Florida requires drivers age 80 or older to have their vision checked when they renew their licenses, while New Hampshire and Illinois require road tests for those 75 and older.

    AAA says seniors should consider taking specially designed driving courses; 35 states provide insurance discounts for drivers who take such courses. Older drivers also should assess their driving skills regularly along with their doctors, AAA said.

    Dinh-Zarr said vehicles can be modified to help older drivers. Larger rear and side mirrors, larger and brighter dashboard displays and seat belts that are easier to lock would help, she said. Dinh-Zarr said seniors wear their seat belts more often than any other age group but often complain that the belts are difficult to put on.

    She also said better lighting and signs at intersections and protected left hand-turn lanes would help decrease confusion among older drivers.

    The study, by the Texas Transportation Institute, analyzed police records from 3.9 million crashes between 1975 and 1999. Those crashes caused 90,036 fatalities. During that time, the number of licensed drivers 75 or older in Texas increased faster than other age group; they now comprise more than 5 percent of Texas drivers.

    The numbers in Texas are mirrored nationally. The number of people over 65 is expected to double over the next 30 years; by 2030, one in five Americans will be 65 or older, AAA said.
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  6. #6
    Terminator's Avatar
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    Old people behind the wheeel scare me.

  7. #7
    allykitty84 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Old people behind the wheeel scare me.

    Oooh me 2!!!

  8. #8
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    I had to vote "only if they have a medical condition"!

    I'm 45 and getting close to 65! last time I checked I was 21! Hell I'm still 21... just celebrating anniversaries of it!

    on a more serious note I have completed the documents for elderly DLs to be re-evaluated.

    <whisper>don't tell my mom. everytime I do that and she finds out, she refuses to invite me over for dinner and holds a grudge for about 2 months until she forgets!


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  9. #9
    Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pc830cop View Post
    I had to vote "only if they have a medical condition"!

    I'm 45 and getting close to 65! last time I checked I was 21! Hell I'm still 21... just celebrating anniversaries of it!

    on a more serious note I have completed the documents for elderly DLs to be re-evaluated.

    <whisper>don't tell my mom. everytime I do that and she finds out, she refuses to invite me over for dinner and holds a grudge for about 2 months until she forgets!

    *LOL* ~ I can imagine. I'm 47 but I voted for the take the keys off them. It would provoke healthy debate about it and raise the awareness of this important issue.

    I feel like a 35 year old, can you find me one????

  10. #10
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    I voted yes. I almost had a collision with an elderly driver at a stop sign. I was in the left turn lane and he was beside me on my right in the straight ahead, he turned left right when I did, luckily I saw him before we hit.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terminator View Post
    Old people behind the wheeel scare me.
    Hey! I resemble that remark
    I voted yes also,is it really age discrimination?If it is I guess we better start giving a license to 12-13 year olds so we dont have reverse discrimination.The reasons for a minimum age is do to the fact that a youngster doesn't have the physical or mental maturity to safely handle a vehicle,unfortunately (beleive me I know) as we age our physical and mental attributes also seem to "go south".

    We are not advocating pulling their license at a certain age,just being sure they are still able.Here they can be renewed by mail,I know of one lady that mailed hers in and got it renewed,SHE WAS LEGALLY BLIND.

  12. #12
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Had a good friend who is a trooper take his fathers license away. Just didn't feel right letting him drive anymore.

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  13. #13
    10-42Adam's Avatar
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    I voted yes. I've seem some terrible elderly drivers out there who definitely should not be driving. Some, not all, are a risk to everyone else out there on the roads and I think that after a certain age people should be tested every year.
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  14. #14
    NavLaw's Avatar
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    In many respects I have to agree that older drivers can be a problem. One thing that we must think of when saying retest is how many more testers will we have to pay for. In areas that have a high population of older drivers the cost could be pretty high.
    My thoughts on the problem run to a medical order. If a persons health says they are dangerous on the road it should be mandated that their doctor send in a re-test slip to the motor vehicle dept. This would cut costs of testing.

    Now what do we do about young girls on cell phones, I have a bigger problem with them than the elderly.
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  15. #15
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    They should make the age for getting a licence 50!! That way all you youngsters would have to walk more. And we'd have no congestion to deal with.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trojan 42 View Post
    They should make the age for getting a licence 50!! That way all you youngsters would have to walk more. And we'd have no congestion to deal with.
    And it would reduce global warming!


  17. #17
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    Every 6 months of the age of 65.....sorry Keith.
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  18. #18
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    AAA did not recommend new laws to govern elderly drivers. Twenty-two states already have such laws. Florida requires drivers age 80 or older to have their vision checked when they renew their licenses, while New Hampshire and Illinois require road tests for those 75 and older.

    Minnesota checks your vision every time you renew your license, starting with your first license at 16, and then every four years starting with your "over 21" license.
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  19. #19
    SaraJ is offline Banned
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    I am approaching old age, be there in another 10 or 20 years, and I would not mind taking a test every time I get my license renewed. I had an aunt that was sharp as could be at 85 and a mother who confused the gas pedal with the brake pedal at 62. "Old age" is not measured in numbers.

  20. #20
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    Road and vision tests with every renewal beginning at age 70 (or prior to that upon recommendation of a physician).




 

 
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