Letting blind people drive

By | February 18, 2008

On the topic of mandatory periodic retesting of senior citizens when they renew their driver’s licenses, my wife recently had this letter printed in the Boston Herald (under the completely nonsensical headline “Rights watered down”, thus proving yet again that the Herald really needs to hire some better headline writers):

Over a decade ago, it was a joke: A BU professor involved in a conference on rights for people with disabilities was hosting a visiting Italian professor. The visitor asked why the crosswalk light was beeping. “It’s for people who can’t see,” our professor explained. Her colleague yelled, “You let blind people drive?”

Apparently, now we do.

The story about the older men losing their eyesight (“What does being old have to do with it?” Feb. 12) was like running a sob story about an alcoholic who knows he will drive drunk but wants to be cut some slack to maim or kill since he visits his sister and likes to shop in Lynn.

We are not talking about “bad” drivers; anyone can be a bad driver and learn to be better one. We are talking about impaired drivers.

Older citizens should be using their political acumen to improve transportation and community networks so that individual cars are not lifelines, not lobbying for the right to knowingly drive impaired.

A… Kamens

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