As most of you who know me know, it is very rare that I compliment anyone on Beacon Hill, namely, Gov. Deval Patrick and the Massachusetts General Court (aka the MA Legislature). However, for once they are doing something right. Sen. Brian Joyce (D-Milton) is pushing for a bill that would require all drivers over the age of 85 to complete a road and vision test every five years. Now, I would prefer this test be required every year (honestly, do people over 85 have anything better to do?), and I would like it to be over the age of 75 or so, but this is a good start at least.
As much as people like to condemn the driving habits of young people, the habits of old people are just as bad if not worse. I personally am sick of the discrimination, as it is far more often that you hear people talking about how bad teens suck at driving than you hear people saying how bad old people are at driving. Frankly, if we could curb underage drinking (which I do understand is a difficult task), young people would not even have this problem. The fact is that most dumb moves from young people while on the road come while under the influence. Obviously, this is not always the case, but I would wager it is true a good majority of the time.
Regardless, I am happy that the Legislature is finally taking action. It is long overdue, and many lives would have been saved if it had happened earlier (like the 4 year old Stoughton girl who died at the hands of an elderly driver). Hopefully this will also prevent people from needing to take away their parent’s license, which some consider to be one of the hardest things to do as an adult. Frankly, I would not want to take away my parent’s license (though I would do it in a heartbeat if it meant saving lives).
As I said, I would like this bill to be changed slightly, but overall it looks good. In my opinion 85 is too high, as there are plentyof people in their seventies who would not be on the road. Also, five years is way too much in my opinion. Are they trying to tell me that a lot can’t change in five years? They must be joking! At that age, a lot can change in a week, so why should it be five years? Make it one year at the minimum, and I would be a lot more satisfied with this law.
Nonetheless, I commend Senator Joyce and all who support this bill. It is a necessary precaution that will save the lives of many, both old and young. Of course, this has not passed yet by any means, so I may still have the opportunity to condemn the legislature on this matter, but in light of recent events I, for once, have the utmost confidence in the Massachusetts State Government to get it done.
In campaign news, I have asked a trusted, loyal supporter to accept my endorsement for Lieutenant Governor and run. I hope he accepts, as I feel he can help me bring the change we all want to Massachusetts. I have also nominated a few people for cabinet positions and I’ve chosen a few advisers, so please check that out on the Staff page of the website.
-Brad Burns, Candidate for Governor- 2014
Update: Gov. Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray have supported this measure, along with Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop)