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Placing Tighter Restrictions On Senior Citizens That Wish To Renew Their Driver's License

1181 words - 5 pages

Lawmakers: Get Miss Daisy Off The Road!After sitting through hours of boring class, Ryan Wesling sat down to eat his lunch and wait in anticipation for the recess bell to ring. He was probably going to play either dodge ball or tag. He was probably just peeling off the lid to his HandiSnack, the best part of the boring lunch that most mothers make for their children. He never got to play dodge ball. He never got to eat that delicious HandiSnack. He never got to mature past the age of eight. As he was eating his lunch, a car drove through the cafeteria and killed him. The driver was 81-year-old Grace Kleim, a senior citizen with a clean driving record (Associated Press). One might ask when hearing of this tragedy, "How could someone drive into a school cafeteria by accident?" The answer is that the driver was a senior citizen that should not have been allowed behind the wheel in the first place. Senior citizens like Grace Kleim are all over the roads and there is an extreme lack of laws to keep these people that are no longer capable from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. How many innocent people and eight year old children are going to have to die before lawmakers wake up to this problem? Senior citizens should, at the very least, be required to take another driving test after they have reached a certain age to assess their driving capabilities.As people age many of their abilities needed for safe driving diminish. This is a key reason for older drivers having a higher accident rate than younger drivers. The numbers are in fact very close, as many will argue, but older people are shown in studies to drive less. (Rigdon, par 2). As your average person ages, their hearing and vision, amongst other abilities, gradually get worse. Christine Cassel, Chairman of the Department of Geriatrics and Human Development at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, states that hearing loss "occurs in 30% of people over 65 years of age, (and) 50% of 80-year olds…" (Cassel 47). She goes on to state, "Eighteen percent of people between 65 and 74 years of age and 46% of people between 75 to 85 years of age will complain about vision problems…" (Cassel 49). The fact that older individuals are less capable drivers is indisputable and the argument that putting stricter rules on older drivers is prejudice is just plain ridiculous. Someone that can't see while driving is a danger to everyone else on the road and should not be driving. Let's stop worrying about feelings for a just a moment and start worrying about common sense and safety. When a driver cannot see everything well on the road, how can they react? How can we say that trying to keep unsafe drivers off of the road is prejudice? Laws are meant to maintain public order and safety. Current laws on senior citizen drivers are not accomplishing this.The present rules for a senior to maintain their driver's license is lax to the point that it demonstrates pure apathy on the part of lawmakers....

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