Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Driving: Entitlement?

State lawmakers in Massachusetts are setting the stage as legislation moves through the Legislature in dealing with an aging driving population. The bill, if enacted, will require “vision and road tests every five years for all drivers 85 and older” according to a report in the Boston Globe. The catalyst of the bill is a recent accident on June 14th that took the life of Diya Patel. In a hearing yesterday “state Senator Brian A. Joyce introduced Nihan Patel, whose 4-year-old niece, Diya Patel, died on June 14, a day after being struck by a car driven by an 86-year-old woman” (Lawmakers vow to ‘fast track’ elderly driver legislation, Boston Globe, Matt Collette).

In the past I have discussed my disdain for seat belt laws but in this case I am in complete agreement. Personally, waiting until 85 is far too late. Driving in a privilege that many take for granted. If things continue done the path of entitlement – housing, jobs, and health care – soon the entitlement to a driver license may be next. After one obtains their license, it is important to adhere to the rules of the road. Now, I will admit that not every “rule of the road” do I follow; I am not alone.

That being said, it is time for the DMV’s across the United States to institute more testing. The attempt being made in Massachusetts is a step in the right direction. My suggestion is to reduce the age to 50.