This is another blog post on Elder Law, such for seniors and their families, particularly spouses, adult children, caregivers, etc. Today’s Topic is the “SENIOR DRIVER.” It’s the1st of a mini series on elderly car drivers, more precisely seniors losing drivers license driving permit renewal and/or license being reviewed (medical exam, vision test, senior driving test), suspended, revoked, etc.
Vol. 11, #14.1 – Sept. 30, 2019–ALLAN GOLD’S BLOG
SAAQ/DMV: SENIOR DRIVER LICENSE (PERMIT) ISSUES
We all have had occasion to encounter a senior driver on our boulevards and highways. It could have been a male old-timer, who was something of a “Speedy Gonzales,” driving his sedan as if it was a ‘souped-up’ hot rod, but that’s unlikely. In the alternative, it could have been a woman, an old biddy type, emulating, the “Little Old Lady from Pasadena,” but that too is unlikely. Instead, it’s much more probable that we would have found ourselves in the middle of rush hour behind an older driver, short in the seat, stiffly staring ahead with a tight, two-handed grip of the steering wheel, driving in the left passing lane at a snail’s pace. As a driver following behind, the typical reaction would be impatience and frustration, indeed exasperation, possibly exclaiming, “If you’re taking a ‘Sunday drive,’ then do it on Sunday” or “Get off the road – you shouldn’t be driving any more.”
But wait, you need to calm down and remember that older citizens have rights and each of them is entitled to drive as much as the rest of us. Someone might ask, “What about protecting the aged person (and everyone else) if he or she is no longer able to drive safely?” Of course, we don’t want him or her to get hurt and we don’t want passengers riding along to get injured. We also must see to the security of the general public, either sitting in cars or walking down the street. This means that we need rules in the interest of everyone to protect one and all. The foregoing are all good thoughts, but not easily done and reconcilable.
And that’s my ‘lead-in’ to the subject of the Senior (Auto) Driver. When retirement planning, you should consider the possibility that on getting older, over 75, etc., you might not be able to drive. Please continue reading if looking for more information (from an “avocat,” one of the family law lawyers, family lawyers Montreal, practicing in the elder law field), and this on the topic of elderly car drivers, seniors losing drivers license driving permit renewal and/or license being reviewed (medical exam, vision test, senior driving test), suspended, revoked, etc.
B. IT’S IMPORTANT!
After that introduction, I now need to drive home the relevance of this to you in real time. To identify the danger in a clear and simple way, I’ll speak of accidents involving a senior (auto) driver. I’ll start with the car accident in the UK, occurring on January 17, 2019 involving Prince Philip. It again raised the issue of aged people operating motor vehicles on our streets and avenues. Since it involved a high profile personality, it got a lot of media attention and lots of people were talking about it. So let’s go, unless you would prefer to pull off the road, cover your eyes and ears and ask me to speak no more of this. Assuming that you don’t mimic the pictorial maxim in this regard, then kindly consider the situation of sharing the road with a near centenarian, like in this instance.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: Incident of Jan. 17, 2019
Dateline London January 17 2019 (Updated: 18th January 2019, 7:22 am). For me, the headline of the Sun.Co.UK newspaper seemed to succinctly frame the accident and the issue – “AGE OLD DEBATE, Prince Philip car crash aged 97 sparks fresh debate over whether there should be a driving age limit.”
Circumstances of accident: Prince Philip, 97, was driving a 4×4 Range Rover in eastern England. To be more precise, it occurred near the royal retreat in Sandringham at or about the entrance to the main road close to Babingley. His car flipped over and ended up on its side with a smashed windscreen. The Prince’s explanation was that he was dazzled by the sun. Prince Philip was unhurt. The accident involved another car notably a KIA, carrying two women and a 10-month-old baby, one of which was Emma Fairweather, who suffered a broken wrist.
Commentaries: Wilford quoted AA president Edmund King as saying, “We wish the Duke of Edinburgh well. “Many commentators use high profile car crashes involving elderly drivers as a reason to call for bans or restrictions on older drivers. “If driving restrictions based on age and safety were introduced we would be more likely to restrict young drivers rather than older drivers. “The decision to hang up your keys is a tough one but should be based on personal advice from your GP and family rather than being based on some arbitrary age. We all age differently and the car is an essential lifeline for many elderly people.” (Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/8223011/prince-philip-car-crash-driving-age-limit/)
Epilogue: As a follow-up, I mention three further news articles. The first by Jamie Doward and agency of Sat. 19 Jan. 2019 16.00 GMT in the Observer, which was titled, “Police speak to Prince Philip after he is pictured driving again Duke reportedly back behind the wheel without a seatbelt as it is revealed councillors and police had clashed over speed cameras plans.” The journalist was expressing surprise and a hint of dismay at the fact that Prince Philip was back behind the wheel of a brand new automobile just two days after the above car crash. (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jan/19/police-warned-councillors-over-prince-philip-road) The next one (filed by The AP on Jan. 27, 2019 5:45 PM ET) from The CBC was titled, “Prince Philip tells car crash victim he is ‘deeply sorry’ Emma Fairweather suffered a broken wrist in collision with car driven by Duke of Edinburgh.” You see, Prince Philip wrote a letter of apology to Emma Fairweather, a woman injured in the car accident. It was reported that he was not charged with any infraction and continues to drive. (Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/prince-philip-crash-apology-1.4995080)
And then on February 09, 2019, it was reported that Prince Philip, 97, “voluntarily” decided to give up his driver’s license. While it’s true that it came after the crash, it seems that it also came after the further incident when he was caught driving without a seatbelt. Of course, driving unbuckled is against the law. It’s noteworthy that he surrendered his license only after his file was reportedly provided to the crown prosecution for the consideration of the bringing of charges. (Source: https://people.com/royals/prince-philip-voluntarily-given-up-drivers-license/)
C. CLOSING. So the driving of a car is yet another area of trial and tribulation that old age brings to bear. Stay tuned –there’s much more to come. Indeed, it might be a great way for you to further learn about something that you told yourself that you must do, but to date never got around to doing. *
D. PREVIEW OF NEXT IN THE ELDER LAW BLOG SERIES: I believe that with this blog series on elder law, I may have started you on the way to being more aware of elder law. Today, I opened the subject of an older person driving a motor vehicle. Next time, I will continue on enumerating several additional accidents. And I’ll address the emotional minefields arising when an elderly is driving a car. And in the third piece, I’ll provide a brief description of a few of the main points from the rules. Interested? Want to get more information about the current topic, retirement planning, other areas of elder law written by an “avocat,” one of the family law lawyers, family lawyers Montreal, practicing in the elder law field? See you next time. Remember my byline is, “Gold’s Legal Minute*GLM*”. And don’t forget to join my professional community by entering your e-mail *
E. NOTICE – CAUTION –DISCLAIMER. The material provided herein is of a general nature, strictly for informational purposes. The interpretation and analysis is not to be misapplied to a personal situation with a particular set of facts. Under no circumstances, are the herein suggestions and tips, intended to bring a reader to the point of acting or not acting, but instead, the hope is that they are to be a cause for pause and reflection. It is specifically declared that this content is not to be a replacement of or substitution for legal or any other appropriate advice. To the contrary, for more information on these presents, related subjects or any other questions, it is the express recommendation of the author that everyone seek out and consult a qualified professional or competent adviser.
* ©/TM 2019, 2015-2018, Allan Gold, Practitioners’ Press Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED