Friday, July 24, 2009

Requiring Driver Tests at Age 70

At Christine's birthday party a subject surfaced that pressed my button. Someone mentioned that the provincial government of B.C. was going to legislate that driver retesting would begin at age 70 and be repeated every two years. Public safety must be maintained.

The closer one is to three score and ten the more one tends to react with irritation. My defence system kicks in. I will be 67 in September. I am ageing but I can still do math. In three years I will turn 70 and I would be required to take a driver test. I might have to do a written as well as an actual motor vehicle street exam. The natural defence for people like me is retroactive. For example, “I used to drive truck for a living, both during college days and later full time before I obtained my first job as a church pastor. In Toronto I could drive a large Sears truck downtown, whip across a road when the flagman stopped traffic and back up fast into a truck elevator with 3 inch clearance on each side mirror. I have always taken driving seriously and been diligent about observing good driving habits. I have driven in blinding snow storms on the worst road conditions without negative incident.” But that was then. What about now? Has anything changed? Perhaps.

The second level of defence is accusation. That there are tens of thousands of drivers much younger than I who have poor driving habits and drive foolishly and even recklessly is undeniable. There is an equity issue here. Why, by virtue of age should teens, twenty-somethings, thirty, forty, fifty and sixty year olds be exempt for decades from testing beyond the initial exam that granted them their license? Fair play demands that statistics and medicine and wisdom combine to produce a piece of legislation that truly addresses public safety on our roads.

GPS Application

Test 70 plus drivers every two years. Fine! Rexamine every other driver every three years. Test drivers of trucks and buses for their specific licenses every three years as well. Psalm 90:10 "The length of our days is seventy years — or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away."

That's my ride, a 2007 MX5, and my birthday girl passenger, looking out to the Gulf Islands. As the verse above infers, I am taking my flying lessons now.

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