Comments for: Safety for Maine’s senior drivers about more than taking away the keys

Posted Nov. 21, 2012, at 3:54 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 21, 2012, at 4:48 p.m.

Dramatic car crashes involving older drivers never fail to make headlines. Just this year, there was the elderly driver who in June headed north in the southbound lane of Interstate 295 in Portland during rush hour. A state trooper used his cruiser to stop the vehicle and prevent it from …

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  • I just don’t like it when older people drive 5mph in a 25mph zone, but other then that I have no issues with elder drivers

    • Jst4Today

      30+ years ago when I was a young adult, our small town had a couple of senior drivers who would drive 5 in a 25. You just had to grit your teeth and be patient. Back then, we respected our elders.

      • Yeah I’m patient, but to a certain extent it’s just annoying

  • Anonymous

    I would bet even money that this issue is being driven by the insurance industry. They will use any excuse whatsoever to declare a group of drivers higher risk. They then have justified raising rates on those drivers.
    If there is a higher number of accidents involving seniors in this state it is because we are the OLDEST state in the union.

    • Anonymous

      I disagree. Insurance companies can rate folks higher now if they choose to do so. My bet is that it’s being driven by family members who have had one of their own maimed, or killed, due to cognitive or visual incompetence behind the wheel. Some elders drive fine (to a point), others do not. We need to get these ‘others’ off the road.

      • Anonymous

        Some teens drive while texting or playing with their CD’s. Some people in their 20 & 30’s drive while putting on makeup, or shaving. There are lots of people who do dumb things while driving. We need to get them all off the road.
        The insurance industry has had for many years of charging younger inexperieinced drivers a higher rate. Is this fair to the young drivers who drive responsibly? No. It is a blanket policy. Do you honestly think the insurance industry would pass on a chance to raise rates on people over 65? I have no doubt that the insurance loby has been pushing this.

  • Anonymous

    If this wasn’t about money, there would be some balance in the reporting.
    Here’s the balance for you.
    Both my mother and father drove well into their nineties. NEITHER ever had an accident NEVER in over 70 yeaars of driving.
    My mother did recieve one speeding ticket while on the Passamoquody reservation in 1976. My father never got even a parking ticket.
    I’ll bet you there are maany other people in Maine who could tell similar stories. They are surely as significant as the hair raising tales told by the BDN about two older drivers on the turnpike.

    • Anonymous

      Mine are still driving in their 9os scary….so blah blah

  • Anonymous

    If teens get into the most accidents why not raise the driving age, and pick on them rather than pick on seniors?

  • Anonymous

    Here is the thing, you can be a poor driver at any age.

    If, as a society we are truly interested in road safety, we need to RETEST after the initial license. (not just “renew” every four years, instead of six–what does that solve?)

    Why not do it on a periodic schedule that is easy to remember: ten year anniversaries from your very first license?

    Thus, start at age 16 for example. Then, at age 26 you get another Written, Vision (BTW, a REAL vision test, by a licensed optometrist!), and Road test.

    Same at ages 36, 46, 56, 66, 76, 86, 96, 106, etc. , or 10 year anniversaries of whatever age you started. If you fail, you have 30 days to study up, get retrained, get new eyeglasses so you might pass the tests again. (Could YOU pass a surprise written test, tomorrow? How many new regs in place since YOU first learned to drive???)

    People can be a menace on the road at any age: drinking/drug problems, arrogance, inexperience, simple lack of knowledge.

    Expensive, you say? Factor in the cost of hospital bills, rehab, police, ambulance, fire, road workers, etc. Not to mention deaths. What is THAT cost?

    Within a generation or two, the culture behind the wheel would change, and people would stop thinking they could drive “just fine after a few drinks…” and other poor presumptions.

    If we are truly serious about road safety….and not just grandstanding.

    • Anonymous

      And just how do you propose to pay for this new testing program? Also will the testing and education result in lower insurance rates?

      • Anonymous

        I leave that to the number crunchers..but the kernel of the answer is in the original statement; “Expensive, you say? Factor in the cost of hospital bills, rehab, police, ambulance, fire, road workers, etc.”

        If we did not have to pay for as many “hospital bills, rehab, police, ambulance, fire, road workers, etc.” we would have the money. And by hiring people to do all this testing, we would be “job creators,” right?

        Actually we do have the money already. We are a very rich country. We just tend to spend 51% of our federal budget (for example) on wars, past, present and future. But that is a different rant. Costs a nickel to hear…;)

  • Anonymous

    I am tired of hearing about older drivers and how concerned you morons are about there ability to drive! The fact is you people have no clue what you are talking about and need to be better educated! Accidents involving older drivers represent a very small percentage of the total accidents on Maine’s highways in fact it is true throughout the country! Get the facts straight or shut up for God sake!

    • Anonymous

      From the sounds of your comments it appears that you are one of these older drivers. Or maybe you just refuse to see the evidence all around you.

      Yes, the BDN publishes information about the fatal (or potentially so) accidents, but many times I’ve seen elder folks who shouldn’t be driving, doing so. I’ve seen them back into other cars, I’ve almost been hit, I’ve seen them totally miss the spot they were aiming for, and yes, there are the 40mph creepers on the interstate. And yes, I have called the cops on them before. I like to drive, and I’ll be the last one to say that folks over a certain age shouldn’t be driving. On the flip side, we need families, loved ones, and any others to work to get drivers who can’t handle it any more, OFF the road.

      • Anonymous

        No, I am not an older driver but an individual who seeks out statistics before he runs off at the mouth! I will be an old driver someday as will you and don’t want to be picked on because of my age! I went through it when I was a teenage driver and feel as you get older you earn and deserve respect! There is not a higher percentage of bad drivers because of old age than there is because of there youth! Accidents happen in all ages and the percentage is not higher with older drivers so lets stop pointing fingers!

  • Sectar114

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