It's funny 'cause it's true


I seem to recall my driver’s ed course lasted an entire term, 5 hours a week for 13 weeks. Admittedly, this was years ago. Don’t know what they do now. It included the 5 x 13 classroom instruction hours above, and also more hours for actual on the road driving instruction. Maybe a dozen times, at 1.5 hours per drive. There were usually 3 students in the car swapping out who got to drive, plus the instructor. The car was modified so the instructor could put on the brakes from the passenger side. All this was provided as part of a high school course, by a team of high school teachers. One of the teachers seemed to be in a high state of anxiety all the time, I don’t think this was a class he liked to be responsible for … lol …

After passing the class. both classroom and driving part, then you could get a temporary license. You’d drive on that for a while, then you’d have to take both a written and driving test at the DMV to get your adult license. So there was quite a bit of instruction we got before being set free on the other drivers. Most of us had been driving before we took the class of course, under the table so to speak. My dad would routinely let me drive as long as he was along in the car. The instructor would always ask if that was the case, b/c kids who had driven before didn’t need as much attention.

The instructor who had the anxiety problem was also very focused on how the students should make a left hand turn in places where there’s a separate turn lane. He would insist you didn’t slow down at all prior to entering the left turn lane. Then enter and slam on the brakes. When I did it that way the first time w/my dad in the car, he said to me “George, are you crazy!!! That’s not how I taught you !! Always slow down before entering the left turn lane.!!” … lol …


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 for Seniors, 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–all three!

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.

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

Expensive, you say? Factor 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.


The most important “safety equipment” in any vehicle is the attitude of the owner of the grey stuff between the two ears. An attitude that appreciates the power you have in your hands…

If you RECOGNIZE that you can do tremendous harm to yourself, others, and to property, you MIGHT, just might, drive safely enough.

But then 40,100 are dead last year because someone did not have the “right attitude.”


AARP has an online or classroom senior (over 50) SAFE DRIVER class, that also gets you an insurance discount in many states:


I think that all drivers should have to pass a road test that includes driving on the highway. Road tests should be administered every 10 years (or less) to ensure that driving skills have not diminished due to bad habits, age, or infirmity. A written test should accompany each road test to make sure everyone refreshes their knowledge of rules of the road. We all forget many little things, including important rules regarding right of way and yielding.

Many people will cry about the cost of such measures. My response is that the number of lives we save, and the improvements in driver skills on the road, will more than pay for the cost.

Lastly, many years of accident free driving is an excellent marker of driving skill. However, waiting until such a driver gets into an accident to discover that they have diminished eye sight and/or reflexes is much less desirable than periodic retesting. I will gladly submit to additional testing and surrender my license as soon as my ability to drive safely is diminished.


There are still places in this country where the closest highway is well over 3-5 hours away.


_what did people do decades ago before they acquired cell phones?


Well, if we were on the road and needed to make a call, we went to a pay phone. They were everywhere. And you carried a calling card with minutes on it to make long distance calls. I find it interesting that there are so many kids now that are “terrified” of seemingly normal things like driving.

Is there no end to the lengths we want to go to to regulate the “other driver”? We go from distracted driving to DUI to old people driving and there must be a law. In Minnesota a doctor or police can require someone to re-take their driving test. I don’t know who but I suspect it was my step mother who was estranged from my dad that reported him. At about 87 he needed to take a drivers test. We went out driving and I updated him on the things that the examiner would be looking at-like the proper sequence for starting a car, putting belts on, adjusting the mirror etc. At any rate he passed so get off my back. The hardest part was he had to back from the street into an alley about 12 feet wide with snow banks on both sides. When you get to 80 it’s kind of hard to even turn around let alone try to see out the back window through the high seats and head rests.

The whole ordeal was silly. I hope when you folks start pushing 80 or higher people will show a little more respect for their elders instead of harassing them. These folks lived through a depression and survived, fought a war or two and survived, worked hard, sacrificed, went to church every Sunday, hunted, fished, and maybe liked to have a beer with their friends once in a while. We could do worse. So maybe just give them a little more space on the road and leave them the heck alone. I fear for our future as the snowflakes in the cartoon take over.


I hope when I’m 80, society will have progressed to the point when problems can be acknowledged and addressed without it being seen as “disrespect.”

No one’s taking what that generation accomplished away from them. But if a member of that generation is no longer safe on the road, then they shouldn’t be on the road. This goes for anyone, whether they’re 80 or 18.

I’m only about halfway to 80, but I’ve accomplished and done things as well, as has my wife, and neither one of us is particularly comfortable with the idea of getting killed by someone who either is not capable of or refuses to drive safely.

When individuals pose a threat to others, that’s when government needs to step in. If a man were standing across the street from your house pointing a rifle at your wife every time she went outside, you’d probably call the cops, which is getting the government involved rather than giving him a little more space.

When a driver, no matter what age, drives incompetently and threatens to run people off the road, someone needs to make him stop doing that. Dragging him from his car and beating him to teach him a lesson is frowned upon, so the only real solution available is to get the government involved.


IMHO testing people who have ;long histories of accident-free and violation-free driving is a very poor answer to the problems. People who have violations of certain infractions or repeated accidents, are the ones who need to retest. And those who drive in an impaired condition should face severe consequences.

Making the countless innocent people face additional conditions while we let repeat DUI offenders keep driving… they don’t stop if their license is revoked… without serious consequences is punishing the good people for the deeds of the bad people. And forcing people with good records to have to retest just because of their age is just plain wrong and will accomplish nothing but to deprive elderly good drivers of their freedom. I’d feel a heck of a lot safer driving in a community of 80 year olds with good driving records than I would in a community of drivers of any or all other ages that have problem records.


I know I bring up the shuttle disasters a lot, which people are probably getting sick of, but I think there’s much to be learned about safety culture from NASA’s stumbles.

The shuttle had a long (for a rocket program) history of disaster-free operation before 51-L. By the logic you advocate, no one should have died on Challenger because no one died in previous shuttle flights.

Actually, from my perspective, you’re making the same argument that NASA did – they knew there was a problem with rocket propellant burning through the seals on the boosters, but because that problem had not destroyed a shuttle yet, they convinced themselves that it never would.

We know there is a problem with drivers not driving well, but you’re saying that just because an individual driver has not killed anyone yet, he never will. That doesn’t pass the rationality test, however. Louie Anderson once did a comedy routine about his mother’s terrible driving in which she would protest that “I’ve never had an accident.” Louie replied “Yeah, but you’ve sure caused enough of 'em.”

Just because other drivers are managing to get out of the bad driver’s way and therefore the bad driver isn’t involved in a wreck, does not mean the bad driver is suddenly a good driver.

Put another way, just because a kid has not yet been killed at the uncontrolled intersection that people blast through at 40mph, does not mean that a stop sign is unnecessary. We tend as a culture to wait for the kid to die before we demand a stop sign, but how many kids could we save if we demanded the stop sign before a tragedy happens?

Just to make sure it’s clear, I don’t advocate for letting repeat DUI offenders keep driving.

And that’s the kind of behavior that prison should be reserved for, not some of the petty crimes we jail people for today. You can’t drive if you’re locked in a cage.

I don’t understand why you think this. If the elderly driver is, as you say, a good driver, why would the test deprive him of his freedom? If he’s a good driver he’ll pass the test and keep his license.


You clearly hope when you’re 80 everyone will have changed their minds and everyone will see the error of their ways and agree with you.

Shadow, enough is enough. Stop beating a dead horse. Move on to another subject.


With respect, if you want the conversation to end, then stop replying to it. It’s not reasonable to make an argument and then accuse those who disagree with you of beating the dead horse that you yourself are also flogging.


The excuse of being a “danger to others or themselves” is used a lot to justify restricting the freedoms of others. Not saying it isn’t a factor but the issue is at what point is action taken. Today it is someone pointing a rifle at your wife. Tomorrow it might be running your IC lawn mower. Slippery slope again.


Amen to that. Restricting freedoms should be reserved for those who have shown themselves to be a danger to others, not simply for growing old. Growing old by itself is not a danger to anybody.


I am one of the elderly referred to in many of the comments. I am in a car pool with other elderly. I am 76. One of my friends is 82. The other friend is the youngster of the group. She is 72. We all take turns driving the 15 miles to a band rehearsal and the 15 miles back. I am comfortable riding with either one of them. All of us have clean driving records. I am sure any of us could pass a driving test with flying colours.
I just had an eye exam last week. My eyes were as good as they were two years ago and my lenses didn’t need to be changed. My vision, corrected is 20-20.
One woman who used to ride with us is in her mid 80s and no longer drives or plays her horn. However, when she was in her late 70s, I was riding with her to a rehearsal and we were on a main artery going through a university campus. A student darted out in front of her Cadillac. She hauled that Cadillac to a stop and missed hitting the student. I don’t think a younger driver could have seen the student and reacted as quickly.
I would welcome taking a driving test. I can still parallel park my minivan with no difficulty. The last concert I played, I had a long, exposed passage in one work we played. A younger horn player sitting next to me was amazed at how well I played. I looked at my younger colleague and said, "This is called ‘Geezer Power’ ". I am willing to take any driving test and display my Geezer Power behind the wheel. By the way. my blood pressure is 114/63. For those of you who look at people my age as elderly, what is your blood pressure reading?
I fitness walk three miles a day, five days a week. I would really like to run, but due to a heel spur, I have been told it’s not advisable.
The point is that there are many people my age who are safe drivers. I think my driving record proves it. If you want to give me a driving test, go right ahead. I think that if the state mandates a driving test, the state should provide the car for the tests and the car should be a manual transmission MG Midget. I’ll bet we Geezers would pass the test and a lot of younger people would flunk.


Why not just do like the FAA and require annual physicals?


LOL. But… but… I can’t get INTO an MG Midget! :rofl:


@the_same_mountainbike I think I could get in an MG Midget, but getting out would be the problem.


I’m already envious!