Its been a topic of the ages, young drivers and the risk they pose on our roads, or drunk drivers and the the risk that they pose. Clearly, both do cause accidents, and both should be targets of our authorities in an attempt to reduce the road toll. I do not dispute that in anyway.
But you rarely hear questions surrounding our elderly drivers, and the ability they have to drive safely, respond reflexively to hazards, or even know half the road rules that we now have to contend with.
The TAC are constantly targeting our youth in the latest accident campaign adverts, take the current campaign for example, “Road Trip Forever”(View Site), which is being marketed with upbeat, happy, fun and totally misleading adverts all over the radio. It makes the whole thing sound like a great new travelling product…not a morose attempt to reduce the road toll.
Its in poor taste if you ask me. If the TAC are having to lie, and fool their audience to get a message across, perhaps they need to address why that is so, rather then mask it behind a gimmick campaign.
I cant help but think its purely an attempt to get huge traffic to the site, because it will do that, the ads are catchy and it sounds like something anybody would want to be part of. But what we will never see is how many of those that actually visit the site under false pretences, will simply switch off and say “Oh, is that all it is” and completely miss the point. The TAC marketing experts will swan around in the glory of the huge amount hits the site will get, but the effectiveness will never, ever be measured.
I cannot say the same for the 8 year old kiddy who runs onto the road in front of this driver chasing his ball however…
But I digress, so getting back to the original point of this article…elderly drivers. Today I saw a man in his mid to late 80’s attempting, with great difficulty, to get into the drivers seat of his $180,000 mercedes. Complete with walking frame, the old duck was struggling to simply open the door. God help us all when he was actually behind the wheel.
I have seen many a drunk driver in my time, but few that have struggled to the degree this old feller did.
Surely he poses just as big a risk as a .08 or .09 driver? Or a young hoon pulling some donuts on a Nepean Highway at 3am? Yet, we rarely here anything about the elderly, and what risks they pose.
I think mandatory retesting for all drivers over the age of say 75, is a minimum requirement. I can categorically state, my old pal from this morning would not have passed.
But hey, he drives around in a multi airbag vehicle, with crumple zones and reinforced passenger areas…so he will be fine.
I cannot say the same for the 8 year old kiddy who runs onto the road chasing his ball in front of this driver however…