Poor driving defies categories

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There’s no need to pick on seniors – there are plenty of poor drivers on the roads who could use a refresher course.

Little surprise that this would raise some hackles: the Canadian Medical Association said in an editorial Monday that as a safety measure elderly drivers should face a graduate licensing system.

We have a graduated system for younger drivers just learning, so that certain privileges are added after a certain length of time behind the wheel.

In the case of seniors, the editorial suggests, such a graduating licensing program might place restrictions on night-time driving, high-speed roads and blood-alcohol concentration.

The rationale for the call includes data from 2009 showing more seniors died in fatal vehicle crashes than any other age group.

As it is now, seniors with a medical condition that might compromise their abilities at the wheel are supposed to be reported by their doctor – although the editorial notes that many doctors don’t do that.

Some provinces, such as Ontario, require drivers by the age of 80 to renew every two years, with inclusion of refresher courses.

But let’s face it, travel some of our streets and you don’t have to go far to note some pretty confused, careless drivers. A lot of them either aren’t paying attention or are pretty hazy on some rules of the road.

We currently enjoy a system where once in our lives, generally while we’re quite young, we are required to pass an examination for the privilege of driving. That’s it, it doesn’t come up again, despite changes to vehicles over the years, changes to roads and increasing traffic.

That licensed driver is behind the wheel of what is potentially a lethal weapon.

It wouldn’t be outrageous to suggest that drivers in general – of all ages – could use refreshers from time to time.

People would complain about the expense and inconvenience, but lives are at stake. We have more stringent regulations in place for activities of far less risk.

Organizations: Canadian Medical Association

Geographic location: Ontario

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Recent comments

  • Young driver
    April 16, 2012 - 14:43

    I think the best idea would be to make people retake their driving test every 5 years when they go to renew their license, and have the cost included in the renewal fee since it's already around $80. I'm only young but I wouldn't be opposed to having to retake my test in a few years' time, people pick up bad driving habits after a while without even realizing it.

  • Young driver
    April 16, 2012 - 14:38

    I think the best idea would be to make people retake their driving test every 5 years when they go to renew their license, and have the cost included in the renewal fee since it's already around $80. I'm only young but I wouldn't be opposed to having to retake my test in a few years' time, people pick up bad driving habits after a while without even realizing it.

  • glenn
    April 12, 2012 - 07:51

    hello , they've had t ability for yrs. gps/cell phones/on star/trackers ect...... not 2 track " our movements " , yet, track how we move. insurance companies offer free trackers for y'r car now if u like 2 use it . it will give u a better rate then if u dn't use it & t better u drive/longer u drive good - t lower y'r rates r. unless the drivers r craxxy drivers , like nike says , " just do it !". it's all about t money.!!! unless drivers r do'n someth'n they shouldn't , why not cash in on y'r awesome driving habits. money in t bank !!!!!

  • glenn
    April 03, 2012 - 06:56

    hello , why not put a chip in the drivers licence 2 track who/how they drive. then test /warn accordingly. people could go on line 2 c their results daily & the provinces can charge more for the crazzy drivers & ins. companies can charge more 2 insure them also. perhaps they could even get more drivers off the road , that need off , also !!! glenn

    • RaNMaN
      April 04, 2012 - 09:25

      So you think we should give the government the ability to track our movements???