Saturday, December 08, 2007

Reply to letter to the editor about my column, “Don’t take away grandma and grandpa’s freedom machine”

Thanks for your letter disagreeing with my column about seniors driving.

You write, “If you are no longer physically or mentally competent to drive, you are a danger to yourself and everybody else on the road.” I totally agree with that statement. This should apply to all ages and our state should be diligent about testing everybody’s mental and physical faculties before allowing them to have a driver’s license.

The media does seem to feature stories of older people involved in accidents. And some of them should not possess licenses. In fact, some of them don’t, like the 94 year old man I mentioned in my column. But, the fact is that younger people cause far more accidents than senior citizens. The proof of this is that insurance companies charge older drivers lower premiums than younger drivers. I’m not sure why media makes a bigger deal about old people causing accidents than young people. Maybe it sells more newspapers.

What motivated me to write my column were the unfeeling and selfish attitudes of a grandson and a stepson who didn’t want their grandmother/stepmother to lease a new car. This 90 year old woman is mentally acute and physically fit. She is perfectly capable of driving her car. In fact, as a footnote to my column, the stepson filed a complaint against me with a state agency that protects the elderly from abuse. The state sent an investigator and a police officer to interview the woman in her home and found her to be sharp as a tack, mentally and physically. In my opinion the grandson and the stepson were more concerned about depleting their inheritance than the well being of this nice, old woman.

I see a lot of younger people who don’t have the respect for their elders that I did when I was young. I hope you’re not one of them. Many young people today seem oblivious to the fact that they too will be old one day (if they’re lucky). They stereotype all senior citizens as a bunch of doddering old f---s who are mentally and physically incompetent. We old folks are not much different that you young whippersnappers…some of us are sharp and some of us aren’t.

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