Editorial an assault on senior driversPublished Aug 7, 2013 at 5:20 am (Updated Aug 3, 2013 at 6:26 pm)
Based on the logic used in The Almanac’s editorial of July 31 regarding requiring the retesting of senior citizens for driver’s licensing, we should require electricians to be retested for driver’s licensing every two years.
The reason I say this is that your newspaper’s reasoning is based on an error in judgment of the driver. Knowing nothing of the driver other than her age, The Almanac apparently feels at liberty to decide that the error in judgment was due to the only factual information (other than gender) it had about the driver.
A few years ago, I had an electrician working at my house. I do not know his age, but I am sure it was well under the 45 year age that Pennsylvania feels at liberty to start age-based discrimination for driver’s licensing. The electrician thought he put his car in park, but his being sure did not stop it from drifting down my driveway, crossing the street and crashing into my neighbor’s house. The house was extensively damaged, but luckily the neighbor was in a section of the house away from the crash and there were no pedestrians in the street, nor children in the yard. A mechanic called to the scene by the police certified that there was no mechanical defect to the car and that it could not have been left in park – an error in driver judgment. As the only information I actually knew about the driver was that he was an electrician, the error in judgment obviously indicates we have to start testing electrician’s driving skills every two years, the same time frame as advocated by The Almanac for aged drivers.
Regarding the statistical studies, they give mere correlations, which does not establish cause and effect. If someone has physical impairments that validly limit driving ability, there are other ways that fact can be determined other than a wholesale assault on all senior drivers, and The Almanac ought to take the trouble to find out what other methods are available.
Conjecture becomes neither adequate evidence nor sound reason, because the conjecture comes from the owner of a printing press. The Almanac owes its readers thorough research in addition to sound reasoning and the use of bona fide evidence before it advocates any public policy.
Upper St. Clair