I have come up with a great new plan to look as if I’m doing something about the road toll. Something must be done. This is something and therefore this must be done.
The legal aged-driving limit should be cut to 50. Drivers already have to pass a special driving test if they want to continue driving over 80 but people are still dying on the roads. Last year 116 people over 50 were killed on the roads.
Age has a profound effect on driving skills. Effects include slower reaction times, blurry vision and poor night vision, poor concentration, drowsiness, and worsening hand-eye coordination. All of these contribute to reduced driving ability and an increased chance of a fatal accident.
Another common problem with older drivers is lack of knowledge about how to use their cell phones. Sending texts requires their hands to be off the steering wheel much longer than it does for a young person.
While my plan only suggests cutting the aged-driving limit to 50, the School of Public Health at the Wellington School of Medicine has recently published research that shows there’s no safe age limit for driving. Due to a global conspiracy of journal editors, Zimmer frame manufacturers, and the people who make large-print playing cards the research hasn’t been published in a recognised journal - even though it was conducted in full accordance with the scientastic method.
Once my limit of 50 has been introduced I’ll be able to use the public health research to argue for a limit of 30 as a reasonable compromise.
In Australia, Victoria has cut the driving age limit to 20 with fantastic success at cutting the roll toll to almost nothing. National Manager of Road Policing, Superintendent Paula Rose, was asked whether she’d like that limit introduced here but she couldn’t speak because she was sucking on a lemon.
Critics of the plan to cut the legal aged-driving limit have pointed out the the number of over-fifties involved in accidents is no higher than you’d expect given the numbers on the roads, that cutting the limit would rob oldies of the chance to go out in the evening to enjoy a couple of slices of birthday cake, and that further research on the effects of reducing the limit is needed.
The fact is that we don’t have time for fancy-pants “numbers” and “statistics” and “research” while the carnage continues unabated.
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