the bright side: When the government and unions have finally taken
over the entire automobile industry, there will soon be no cars to
drive and we can all stop worrying about drunk, distracted or geezer
damage can you do if you are riding a bike or driving a horse and
buggy? Even if you're texting as you pedal, or saying "Giddyup!"
instead of "Whoah!" because you're confused, the damage to innocent
bystanders should be minimal.
will be healthier because they'll walk to school; the environment
will suffer only from an increase in horse manure; and we'll be less
dependent on foreign oil so President Obama can stop apologizing to
Middle-Eastern potentates, and poor Americans can heat their homes
without having to thank the generous people of Venezuela.
miss having my newspapers delivered to my front porch, but at least
no one will be driving to my house to drop off 12 phone books of
which I'll recycle 10.
demise of automobiles won't solve the problem of distracted MBTA
drivers, but those of us who are able to avoid public transportation
will be safe enough.
do realize that we will still need paid police details around
construction sites, just in case someone tries to rob a nearby
convenience store. But with less wear and tear on the roads from
bikes and horses, there won't be as much construction.
problems on their way to being solved, and we're not even five
months into the Obama administration!
until all the cars are gone, could the Massachusetts Legislature
pass just one simple law requiring that drivers over 85 be tested
annually before they assault more innocent buildings; before they
injure themselves and others, even killing people who might
themselves like a chance to get old?
know the Legislature is even more afraid of the AARP than it is the
police unions, and as more baby boomers pool their traditionally
self-absorbed power with AARP memberships it will get even scarier.
But politicians: Just because you have a special license plate to
denote your own self-importance doesn't mean your car won't be at
the receiving end of the next geezer accident.
this, Mr. Lawmaker: You are cruising down the highway, dodging drunk
drivers who have been enabled by soft judges, boomers who are
driving with one hand while chatting with a client, millennials who
are carrying on digital conversations with 200 of their closest
friends, and teenagers who are showing off for the kids in the back
seat, when, coming right up behind you, there's an octogenarian who
misplaced his brake foot.
your having told every senior in your district that they are
"looking well" in order to get their vote will save you?
afraid this is what it will take: A House or Senate leader, en route
to an indictment, sitting by the side of the road listening to an
octogenarian telling the policeman that he didn't see your
now-demolished auto before he hit it.
it's not funny. But serious conversation about this issue doesn't
seem to be getting us anywhere with geezer-phobic politicians. (All
senior citizens, by the way, aren't geezers — just the ones who
think they're entitled to drive until they kill someone.)
Sen. Brian Joyce, D-Milton, deserves credit for continuing to file
his bill calling for the testing of drivers over 85 years of age.
The testing should be done on drivers over 75, but clearly this is
the best Sen. Joyce thinks he can get.
can't get this either. The bill is considered "age discrimination."
So he probably can't get testing for centenarians either.
local talk-show hosts have been on a mission to get the Joyce bill
passed. When Gov. Patrick was on with WTKK's Jim and Margery, an
elderly woman called to beg him to get her husband off the road.
He'd already collected $3,000 in insurance surcharges. She said the
Registry allows him to drive only in daylight, but, "that's when he
had all the accidents!"
governor asked to talk to her husband, but the woman said he was out
buying a new car. So Patrick asked for her phone number; I had the
impression he was going to try to convince her husband himself. Good
luck with that, governor.
I know couldn't get his widowed grandmother to give up the car, so
he and his cousin stole it one night and parked it in a friend's
backyard in another town. His Nana called the police, who politely
agreed to keep an eye out for it.
it's not just senior citizens. I careen around town with all the
other erratic yard-salers on Saturday morning myself. Not much the
government can do about us.
state legislators can address the most serious threats to public
safety. If they require testing of older seniors and in the same
bill forbid texting and talking on cell phones while driving, they
can't be accused of "age discrimination," just support for public
could object to that?