Katie’s Law

Thursday, 29 March 2007 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I saw a piece on TV about "Katie’s Law," a law they’re trying to enact I think in Florida. It has to do with more testing for elderly drivers. Evidently, drivers over 70 cause a lot of accidents, and drivers over 85 are causing HUGE amounts of accidents, especially with fatalities, and at intersections. The Katie for whom it was named was a teenager who was killed when she was driving and a 90 year old woman ran a red light at high speed and crashed into her.

I am for anything they can do for more testing of elderly drivers. I think that anybody who is in good enough shape to see well and have good reflexes should drive. Anybody who does not should not be allowed to drive.

A few years ago, the family took the car away from my favourite Grandma, who is now 87. Grandma had been bumping into a few things. One day, she knocked both side mirrors off… one went when she pulled out of her garage and clipped the mirror, the other one went THE SAME DAY when she pulled back into the garage and clipped the other mirror. She hit my side mirror was when I was parked next to her in the driveway (she was backing out and angled too early). But it all changed the day she hit the gas instead of the brake, and had a minor crash. She was OK, but her passenger (an elderly female friend) got pretty banged up.

We took the car away, but Grandma will tell you to this day that she resents it. She’s fine, she should be driving, and "without wheels," she might as well be in jail. She kept telling me that that bigger accident happened because she was tired and not thinking clearly. As we’re good friends, I finally said to her, "And what about the day you knocked off your side mirrors? Were you tired?" "No, I was not tired," she says. I bring up all the other bumps and fender benders, and she admits that in all those, she was NOT tired. But she is still sure that she can drive just fine.

She’s mad at the family for taking her car. If the NY Department of Motor Vehicles took her license away, the resentment at least would not be pointed at us. She still has a license! NY evidently finds her fit to drive. This is why these laws need to go into place. I want to see vision and reflex testing for drivers over 80.

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