Thursday, May 29, 2008

Should Seniors Be Tested for Driving Competency?

I say absolutely yes.

The News-Times is reporting that it was Bill Webster, 92, who was driving the car that struck and killed a woman on 202 yesterday evening long before dark. According to the report, Webster, a long-time Fire Company devotee, said that he was "unaware" of the incident.

This is a perfect example of why seniors should be subject to testing.

Here's how the State of California handles the problem.

At 70+, the California Department of Motor Vehicles require that renewal licenses be obtained in person. There are vision and written tests. In addition, Police Officers may request that a senior take a test if he or she thinks it is necessary. Doctors must report certain listed illnesses that may impact a senior's driving ability and friends and relatives may also ask the DMV to require testing.

According to the California DMV, "DMV may issue a license to a customer who has a physical and/or mental condition if that person is able to demonstrate, during a driving test, that he/she compensates for the condition and can drive safely. The driving test you will be asked to take is called a Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation (SDPE). In certain situations, if the Supplemental Driving test is too difficult for your abilities, you have the option of taking an Area Driving Performance Evaluation (ADPE). You and the DMV examiner will pre-determine the driving test area and if you pass that driving test, your driver license will be restricted to that area."

Makes sense to me. I doubt that Bill Webster has had a driving test in 75 years.

No comments: