Robert P. Hawkins: Elderly drivers need retesting

July 21, 2013 

Safer drivers

The July 11 news article “Elderly driver charged after fatal biker collision” described a motorcyclist being hit and killed by an 89-year-old driver. Over the last dozen years, there have been several such incidents, most of them causing only property damage, not death. Is anyone surprised by this?

I’m 82 and, appropriately, had to take a new driver’s test two years ago. But the test consisted only of my looking at a series of traffic signs and saying what I thought they meant, based on their shape! Does anyone think that’s an adequate test of how safe a driver I am? I wasn’t tested on either my knowledge of the law or my skill and judgment at driving. All of us over 65 should be retested frequently, perhaps beginning with every three years and, later, more often.

I’m very disappointed that AARP opposes such mandatory retesting. Everyone’s senses, reaction time and knowledge of the law decline with age. It would obviously save much property damage and even lives if each of us had to demonstrate our continued ability to drive safely.

Robert P. Hawkins, Cary

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service