CHIPs Chime In: A Tale from the California Highway Patrol

'bonehead sent the following letter

Tom & Ray,

Kudos on the Blue Hair Rant! I'm going to copy it and send it to all my state legislators. However, living in sunny southern California (second only to Florida as a retirement mecca), I seriously doubt that our completely spineless state legislature will actually do anything. Between the viselike grip of the AARP on the one hand, and the insurance industry on the other, I'm surprised they haven't simply shattered into a million pieces by now.

I recently read a story about an elderly lady who was driving west on Interstate 8 in a rural region of San Diego County. The trouble wasn't necessarily that she was going only 45 miles an hour (although she was). The problem wasn't even that she was driving 45 miles an hour in the left lane (although she was)....The problem was that she was driving in the left lane of the EASTBOUND side!!

A Highway Patrol officer eventually pulled up alongside her, in the left lane of the westbound side, shining his spotlight, flashing his lights, sounding his siren and blaring orders at her from his P.A. speaker for about 25 minutes without getting her to stop. He finally got her to slow down enough so that he could jump out of his cruiser, run across the median, open her door and yank her out of the car. It was the only way he could get her to stop! When questioned later about what she thought of all the drivers who had been driving straight at her, flashing their headlights and honking their horns, she said she thought they were all just being rude!!!

I've been concerned about this issue for some time now. We all know that the most dangerous drivers on the road are young men between the ages of 16 and 24. But what isn't well publicized is the fact that the second most dangerous group of drivers are men and women over the age of 75. I personally think that everyone over the age of 75 should be required to take an annual driving test in order to renew their license. Of course, the only way to balance this out and make it fair would be to require the same of everyone under the age of 25. Sounds right to me.

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