Target: United States Congress
Goal: Require more stringent driver license renewal testing for senior citizens
In America, the two demographics that cause the most automobile accidents each year are teenagers and senior citizens. Most teenagers are just learning how to drive, so a lack of experience is obviously the reason they pose a significant risk. Senior citizens have experience but are also more likely to be have declining motor skills and an accelerated lack of sensory perception. This is not to say everyone over the age of 65 should immediately lose their driving privilege, but something needs to be done if elderly people wish to continue operating motor vehicles on our roads and highways. Help ensure that driving is as safe as possible for all motorists by requiring stricter driving renewal testing for senior citizens.
This week an 87-year-old New Hampshire man crossed over into on coming traffic and veered into a crowd of over 200 motorcyclists who were participating in a memorial ride. Two of the motorcyclists were killed and six others were hurt. According to police, alcohol was not a factor in the collision. Incidents like this reminds us that we can’t treat every driver the same. It is likely that many 87-year-olds are very efficient and conscientious drivers who don’t pose a higher than average risk to other motorists. However, it is unlikely that 87-year-old drivers on average are an equal risk or less risk than 37-year-old drivers; this is mainly due to factors like loss of motor skill or reaction time.
States are divided as to how they test license renewal for senior citizens. Six states require a vision test for seniors upon renewal, and two require a road test after age 75. States like Tennessee, however, do not require any sort of renewal for drivers over 65 years of age. We need a federal law that mandates strict road and vision testing for all seniors wishing to renew their license. Driving is a privilege, and we as dutiful citizens must realize when the time for us to responsibly exercise that privilege has passed. Help implement stricter renewal testing to better evaluate when each driver is no longer fit to drive, and hopefully spare lives of those who still are.
Dear Members of Congress,
As responsible citizens of this country, who are endeavoring to make roadways across the nation safer for all drivers and passengers, we call upon you to create federal legislation that would require strict vision and road testing for all senior citizens seeking to renew their driver license. Next to teenagers, seniors pose the greatest threat to motorists on our roads today, and there is no justification for elderly citizens to be allowed to hold on to the privilege to drive longer than their abilities dictate.
We do not demand the seizing of every senior citizen’s license. We ask that each elderly individual earn his or her right to continue driving; and that they do so on short intervals, so as to avoid a critical loss of ability going undetected. This must be done to protect all other motorists and passengers who are being placed at risk by so many unfit elderly drivers populating the roadways today. We urge you to act now and save an untold number of innocent lives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Flickr