Seniors over 70 years of age should be made to display “S” (Senior) Plates when they get behind the wheel of a car.
There, I said it – don’t act like you haven’t been thinking it for ages.
Teenagers today face hundreds and hundreds of hours of training before they even get their first set of P (provisional) Plates and even after that they must (by law) display these plates on their car.
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The theory behind this is so other motorists on the road will give them the necessary patience and understanding during their learning and provisional years.
So why don’t we do this with old people?
Just as majority of us will begin and end our lives being spoon-fed by others, the life-cycle of drivers is such that they begin and end their driving lives being hesitant, overly cautious and nervous.
This is recognised in the L and P Plate system but at present we just let it slide for old people.
Why? Because they are older than us? Because we don’t want to offend them that they aren’t as good as they used to be at something?
Imagine if we did this in all other walks of life…
‘Oh Gday Wally Lewis, welcome to your 46th pre-season. Don’t you listen to what the papers are saying mate you’ve still got it! By the way how is that new plastic hip going?’
When was the last time you saw a 70 year old flying a commercial jet, helicopter, working heavy mining equipment or operating a drill rig?
I’ve spent my fair share of years behind the taps in bowls clubs and seriously it is all some of these oldies can do to operate their lawn mowers.
Yet we don’t place any restrictions or addendums on them getting into a car and driving.
It’s crazy that with the myriad legislation, restrictions and rules that govern the road there is not one that says ‘look cecil you’ve been driving since you were 14, you’re now 70 and while we’re not taking your license away you need to put this on your car front and back so people don’t completely lose their minds when you’re driving 60 up the M1 in the right lane.”
It borders on the absurd really.
It always reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where he describes the Florida elderly never looking before reversing out of their driveways with the line “I’ve survived, let’s see if you can”.
Now, before a certain generation collectively put their doo-hickey’s down and call me an uppity young whipper-snapper, let me just say that I am not advocating that old people can’t or shouldn’t drive.
But I absolutely think that once a person turns 70, they should get S Plates to display on their cars.
It is a simply visual identifier that allows other motorists to consider why they may be driving slowly, hesitantly or with a level of caution that Nemo’s dad would applaud.
It would absolutely help ease road rage and it would lead to less accidents and ultimately save lives.
It would HELP.
Maybe that sentiment is a bit too old-fashioned for today’s world.
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