Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Miss Daisy Driving Herself…

Well, it appears an elderly woman drove her car into a hospital & killed a couple people.

Predictably, talk radio was all over it AGAIN, with wringing of hands, "what will we DO?!?!"

Look, it’s simple.

Everywhere in this USA, I believe, the legal limit for impairment is .08% blood alcohol content. To rephrase, a normal driver with a higher level of BAC is unfit (legally) to drive.
Do we all agree on that? (YMMV)

It is also known that statistically, the incident rate for drivers is an inverted bell curve, i.e. younger & older drivers have more "incidents", per capita. So- while this would take a modest amount of study, a few folks should be chosen from the low incident spread on the above mentioned curve, & tested for motor skills, reaction time, & vision. (I know, they already do vision, but stay with me here). Then they should be re-tested after a controlled introduction to alcohol to bring their BAC to .09, & the results recorded.

Now we have a baseline.

The testing could be done in conjunction with the present vision tests- perhaps hitting the correct button when a light flashes, or some such. I’m not a behavioral scientist, so I’ll leave the details to the pros.

If you fail the test, hey, even give the testee a couple chances, you’re done. In other words, if you can’t perform with the rudimentary skills of a "good" driver while impaired to an illegal limit, buh-bye.

If the law agrees that impaired folks should not be on the road, (& DUI laws are pretty specific about that), & a person tests at an "impaired" level, then that’s where’s the feces hits the rotating device. An additional "benefit" would be that the responsibility of license or vehicle suspension would be removed from immediate family members. I’ve been through that, & it creates a lot of hard feelings.

Testing should be done annually after age 70.

I recognize that no politician wants to get anywhere close to this problem, as us aging boomers are a significant voting block. But what is the alternative?

Understand, I’m heading quickly to the point where this onerous procedure would be inflicted on ME, but I’d rather have my license pulled than live with the knowledge that I had killed or maimed someone.

That would make the rest of my days less than happy.

If anyone’s got a better idea, have at it.

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