Editor’s Scratchpad

Monday, May 14, 2001

Student drivers for life

Attorney Richard Fried said the other day that car drivers over the age of 72 should be given not only an eye exam but a test of driving skills and reaction times.

Good idea, but it doesn't go far enough. As Fried observed: "If you got your license here at age 16, you can drive until you're 100 without ever showing competency again." A few days of cruising the streets of Honolulu would surely turn up ample evidence that the rules of the roads are ignored with alarming frequency.

His call for testing older people should be expanded to require everyone every five years to be examined on traffic regulations, to take a road test on driving skills, and to produce evidence from a doctor that eyesight, mental acuity and reactions are up to par.

Since the young and the old are responsible for more than their share of bad driving, maybe they should be required to undergo a stringent exam every two years up to the age of 25 and over the age of 70. Who knows, the life you save might be your own.

--Richard Halloran

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