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Age Not Always a Factor in Driver's Speed or Ability

April 22, 2002

Aha! Just as I thought! California's speed limits are minimum speeds, not maximum speeds. In "When a Privilege Yields to Age" (April 1), we are told to watch our elders for signs of declining driving skills. One of the signs is "driving slower than the posted limits." Where I come from we bust people for speeding, not for loafing. But, by golly, I will take this bit of profound wisdom home with me and share it with my geriatric cohorts.


Alpine, AZ


"When Driving Yields to Age" is correct when it asserts that people should not be allowed to drive if they do it dangerously. I also agree, in "Signs of Declining Driving Skills," that people who do those things should lose their driving privilege. But what does that have to do with age? I see people of all ages displaying most of those deficiencies on the road every day.

Whether a person is allowed to drive should depend on their driving skills, not some arbitrary age.


Marina Del Rey


Why not bypass the politics and the sentimentality, and just make it a law that before someone can get a handicapped tag, they must have a new driving test? Too many of the elderly and otherwise impaired drivers act as if the tag itself is a magic shield against injury and a protection from their own bad driving.


Los Angeles


I have been teaching AARP's Driver Safety program (more familiarly known as 55 Alive) for nearly eight years, and as a result I am quite familiar with most of the situations the story describes and incorporate most of them into my lectures. One point I usually introduce, early in my presentation, is that each and every person in attendance, including me, has had less than one year's driving experience at the age he or she is now. Therefore, we all have to relearn and reassess our driving skills, frequently.

In driving, as well as everything else, the things we could do in our 20s or 30s have no relationship on what we can do in our 70s. Hopefully we are smarter. We must use those smarts before we forge ahead.



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