Seniors In Cars are More Dangerous than SARS

Coral Springs: May 10/03

This week, an 82 year old man got into his car and decided that the gas pedal (accelerator) was the brake. The car lunged forward, and the more it lunged, the more the poor fellow pressed down on the pedal thinking it was his brake. He couldn’t understand why the car was not stopping.  The people that got hurt inside the Post Office at Atlantic and Riverside Drive, couldn’t understand why a car was now crashing through the window of the post office into them pinning a 2 year old girl in a carriage under the vehicle and seriously injuring her mother in the process. They were airlifted to Broward General Hospital. Several other people were taken away in an ambulance to Coral Springs Hospital. The 82 year old man  was taken away in a taxi back to the luxury of his home, still wondering why the car didn’t stop when he pressed the pedal. On television he appeared to be as confused as the people who went to the post office that day, wondering why they are now in a hospital.

This was not the only incident of a Senior jumping the curb and crashing into the post office in Coral Springs. It happened also a few years back at the post office near sample, where sure enough another senior did precisely the same thing and killed someone in the process. 

There are numerous other incidents reported all over our county where a senior citizen drives their car into something or some one.  How come. Simple. There are no competency tests given to people after they reach a certain age  to make sure they can operate a car safely. Why is that? Simple again, the legislature, our great Jeb Bush and company, are lobbied constantly against passing any legislation that would limit any senior citizens ability to obtain a drivers license. Every time this issue is brought up, the senior lobby says that teenagers have more accidents than Seniors. There is a difference. Teenagers have a chance at becoming better drivers. A Senior has the chance of only getting worse.

I know this is a hard topic to discuss. After all, I will also become a senior citizen one day and hopefully, the laws will be in place to prevent me from doing something terrible to someone else, by driving a car recklessly.  I would not be able to make that decision myself, because to make the decision not to drive, only confirms a weakness that I don’t want to admit. I am getting older.

IWe have to start thinking that having a drivers license is a privilege not an acquired right. This is different than arguments about the right to bear arms. In our constitution, there is no such provision when it comes to being able to drive your own car.  That’s why they call it a license. If there was no need to have some  proficiency to obtain it, then why have it? We could do away with this whole process, make it illegal for someone under the age of 16 to drive, and then save all of this money we spend in licensing people.  Or, we need our government to take their responsibility seriously and take bad drivers off the road. teenagers, adults, men , women, handicapped,  blind, or any other that may prove to be dangerous behind a wheel of a 100 horsepower 2 ton fast moving machine.

Can you imagine, that the very same legislation that deals with giving handicap people a preferred parking spot actually helped in the accident at the post office?  All handicap parking places are always near the door and in front of the windows. In order to give a senior a short distance to walk, the government is also giving those seniors that make the mistake of gas pedal instead of brake pedal a clear shot at hurting people in the post office itself.   With all of the handicap provisions in our legislation, there should be one that protects the majority against a minority of people causing it harm.  Instead of handing out Handicap Parking stickers to people that can’t drive,  how about handing out bus passes and taxi vouchers . Instead of forcing banks to have Braille on the keyboard of the drive through (check this one out for yourself) how about forcing the license bureau to check all drivers eyes every time they renew their drivers licenses , ( which should be every 2 years). And to balance out the playing field with my comments, how about making the Driving School that teaches an individual how to drive, responsible for the accidents their students cause, no matter what their age, or at least publishing the statistics and closing down the irresponsible ones. This all makes for a safer place for us all, no matter what your age.

But, knowing how government works, they will pass a law forcing every post office in the country to spend money building concrete barriers in front of the handicap parking spots in case some senior once again mistakes the gas pedal for the brake and slams into yet another post office. This way, the  Senior can not be denied their right to drive a car and run over a 2 year old and her mother.

What a strange place we live in…

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YOUR EMAIL:

I agree whole-heartedly with this article. About a year ago on a Sat. afternoon I had just parked my car at the Coral Square Mall and had walked to the rear of my car. In total shock, I witnessed a couple probably in their early 70s roar by, tires squealing continuing for about 200 yards blowing through the parking lot intersection and crashing up on the sidewalk at the mall. Thankfully no one was injured. I ran over to the car with it’s two front tires up on the mall sidewalk and angrilly yelled, “what the hell is wrong with you, driving like a damn maniac?” The female passenger angrilly returned, “he’s not a maniac, he simply lost control of the car!” These people were only in their early 70s. scary. – K.F.

Dear editor, How in the hell do you plan on getting around when you’re an older geezer than you are now? You must have 10 kids who you think will drive you around or you are so damn wealthy from selling boat antennas that money matters not! Your response, eh? -D.P.

Author: HelpMeHoward