Rant and Rave

Ready for Your Road Test?

Teresa Smith sent the following letter

Regarding the issue of the elderly and driving:

Why condemn just older drivers? Sure, they're the first ones who come to mind when you think of impaired reflexes or diminished eyesight or hearing, but there are others on the road who should not be allowed to drive because of health-related impairments that can occur at any age--those with diabetes, heart problems, glaucoma, arthritis or epilepsy, to name just a few.

My feeling is that a road test should not be a "once in a lifetime" thing; road tests should be given to EVERYONE periodically at license-renewal time to ensure that ALL drivers on the road really should be on the road. The road test should be done in "real world" situations (eliminate the parallel parking and put the driver on the interstate and see how he/she reacts at 70 mph driving next to a tandem tractor-trailer rig) and should cover not only driving abilities, but also the driver's knowledge of the vehicle (did anyone ever show you how to work antilock brakes when you bought your car, or even tell you the brakes worked differently?).

A written test also should be given in conjunction with that road test to ensure that all drivers stay current on changes in the laws that affect driving: speed limits, right turn on red, etc. A hearing test added to the vision test might not be a bad idea, either, nor would a "night vision" test.

Of course, all these changes and additional tests I've suggested would cost money and require additional workers, but I'd rather spend my tax dollars this way than spend it on paying the salaries of all those judges in traffic court.

Thank you for listening.

Teresa Smith

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