by Jessame Hannus
I support the push for the DMV to reassess their approach to license renewals and would like to see more aggressive testing for all drivers regardless of age. As an Insurance Broker I have to do 15 credits of continuing education every two years, and selling insurance is not life or death, so it seems irresponsible on the part of the state to allow drivers to renew their licenses without periodic testing and reeducation. Age and Health seem like to aspects of one’s ability to drive that might be a good place to start this conversation.
On a personal note: no one realized my grandmother was having trouble seeing until she got lost driving home one night. She knew she couldn’t see well, but didn’t tell anyone. Once we found out she had advanced macular degeneration she did lose her license, but luckily she didn’t hurt anyone before that happened. But that is not the only health-related driving story I have. A friend of my mother had surgery for a brain tumor and had been told she might have seizures, but she drove anyway. She had one while driving her truck with her dog in the back. She hit and killed a pedestrian and her dog was thrown from the truck and also died.
These two people who were good people, yet both chose to drive when they presented a danger to others. I think even just having a conversation about changing testing requirements could put the topic into people’s minds so they are less likely to make the decision to drive when it’s dangerous.