• Apr 2nd 2008 at 8:02PM
  • 114
The Tokyo Metropolitan Police have begun a campaign urging elderly drivers to "have the courage to give up your license," according to a message on its website. This effort is in response to the mounting accident rates of Japan's rapidly aging population. Over the past six years, the overall number of accidents has declined in Japan by 20 percent while accidents involving drivers over the age of 70 have skyrocketed by 35 percent. Elderly drivers are being offered various discounts and perks from over 30 different businesses if they are willing to relinquish their licenses.
We can't count the number of times we've heard someone complain about elderly drivers, and if they are willing to hand in their keys or feel as if they may be a hazard, this could be a winning solution. On the other hand, this movement could present an additional problem to the already sagging auto market in Japan, as older drivers make up a large chunk of new car buyers.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd., Reuters]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      tana green
      • 7 Years Ago
      Everybody gets old. Whatever you say about someone else today will be true for you before you know it. All those accidents the elderly in Japan had, who did they have them with? Each other? Some teenager? Statistics are tricky things. I knew a woman who was an excellent driver until she died at the age of 94. And every week there are stories of new drivers rolling their cars and killing themselves and a parcel of friends. Just keep educating drivers, insurance breaks for safe driving classes always encourage elderly drivers, but the young ones are a lot scarier. They don't yet understand their own mortality so they take unnecessary chances in order to be cool. And lets not talk about driving drunk. Just be careful and polite and there won't be an accident in your future. Most elderly drivers know when it's time to stop.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Driving is a "right"???? LOL! I'm no expert or authority on the subject, but I can tell you that in New York State, which is where I live, driving is absolutely NOT a "right"!
      It is, in fact, a PRIVILEGE!!! This is understood. It's neither debatable nor negotiable. Moreover, to the best of my knowledge, it's a fact in every state in the USA. While I'm absolutely certain of this, I am always open to being corrected. If anyone KNOWS otherwise and can cite proof, please let the rest of us in on your secret.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I recently completed an AARP Driver Safety class....an 8 hour refresher course of drivers over 59. I certainly wouldn't hurt for some of the lane-weavers I see on the freeway to take a similar class.
      I also recently moved into a 55+ community. I'd been hesitant to do so as I felt I was too young. I'm 70. What I've learned is that there are many levels of seniors regardless of over 60 status. Some are perfectly capable drivers at 80+ while others, younger, should be taken off the road. You can't lump all seniors into the same category. Remember all of you who are younger will be here someday and you will not enjoy being discriminated against because of your age.

      My father wouldn't give up his license at 88, even though he was ill,had had a number of "fender-benders" and occasionally got lost in his own neighborhood. I arranged to have a doctor's endorsement required for him to continue driving. Doctors should be required to report people who are too ill to drive and have their licenses suspended until they are able to drive safely again.......or permanently, regardless of age.

      Don't lump all drivers over 60 into the same category. Some of us are perfectly capable and mentally alert.

      • 7 Years Ago
      "They don't hear well, they can't see well, and their reflexes are too slow."

      "some old fool doing 20mph in a 45 or better zone! It is also alot of fun trying to get on a highway when you are behind some white haired moron hitting is breaks on the ENTRANCE ramp!''

      “The judge asked him to spell his name and he started mumbling about something totally unrelated."

      “I am 32 and i live in Canada and have never had an accident. Even when i drive in the snow for 7 months.
      I love the comment "it's not you i am worried about, it's other drivers." Bull....i have avoided more accidents because i just know what i am doing. I DO NOT have any fears when i drive and i can handle any vehicle in any direction; anywhere.”

      "-send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."
      John Donne-
      Poet, Clergyman 1572-1631

      Mitch Mckenney
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ok folks are you all finished complaining about nothing again?I like spacegravity's reasoning, haven't we screwed the senior citizens enough in this country as well as everyone else that you so-called citizens do not agree with? At 54 and semi-retired I see more of you on the freeway in the mornings and evenings driving like bats out of hell, tailgating me (bad move on your part) and cutting me off like you owned the road. Doesn't look like the elderly to me now does it? After a stellar career in road racing I think you commuters are probably the most dangerous drivers on the road. Dont blame the elderly for your inadequacies. Leave the racing on the track and try not to kill yourselves tomorrow. The older drivers would do better to stay the hell out of your way, as I see it you people are the high speed in a hurry risk your life dangerous drivers. Please feel free to complain about this comment. With all the problems this country has you better start worrying about what and where you will be in the near future. We do not need anymore legislation against the senior citizens of this country we do little enough for them as it is. Enough said................
      • 7 Years Ago
      MADD or MUCP
      Mothers Using Cell Phones

      MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers raised cane across the nation in their attempt to protect their children from drunk drivers and in doing so changed the drinking laws in most states.
      We question two things:
      Why would children be out and about at 2:00 AM in the morning when most bars close and the patrons take to the road?
      Why do mothers of children drive while using cell phones even after knowing that several states have made it illegal to use a cell phone while driving?
      Which is worse?
      According to the latest information driving while using a cell phone, even a hands-off model is nearly TWICE as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Yet, every day we see hundreds of Moms with children in their vehicles chatting away on the phone.
      Today this author personally witnessed a female driver with cigarette in her left hand and cell phone in her right hand; she was steering with ??
      Also note that the women driving while talking on the cell phone are doing so during the daylight hours, and usually while taking their children to or from school or other activities.

      {Editor's note: Think about it! How's your driving and what kind of example are you setting to others, including your children who someday will be on the road, hopefully not raising hell while you are a senior citizen trying to stay alive out there?}
      {Editor's note: Perhaps the insurance industry should start hiring off duty police to enforce the traffic laws, thus maybe cutting our insurance premiums by reducing accident claims.}

      • 7 Years Ago
      Relieve yourself of annoying Tailgaters

      Ever have a tailgater tight on your rear bumper? Sure you have, you may have even done it to someone yourself. Tailgating is one of the most dangerous driving habits there is in that the person doing the tailgating cannot see the road in front of him or her since the car being tailgated blocks the view, and it is dangerous because the person doing the tailgating cannot stop in the event the tailgated car stops.
      If you are being tailgated while driving on a highway at 45 MPH or more, then here is a tip on how to get that dummy off your bumper. Clean your windshield with a very liberal dose of spray. The spray will go up and over most cars and drown the car that is doing the tailgating. It may take one or two times to convince the clown behind you to pass or stay the distance, but we find it works 100% of the time.
        William Hatzell
        • 7 Years Ago
        How about just putting on the emergency blinkers?
        Why try to blind the guy behind you?
        Do you not think your action could contribute to an accident?
        Why make an uncomfortable situation worse?
        Is it the fun of getting someone angry?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I drive 21 miles to work and back each workday. I lock it on the limit and that's my right. It says speed limit, not if you want to, or if you feel like it. It appears to me that those breaking the law want to remove those following the law from the road. I have to watch out for many more younger driver's making mistakes than I do older driver's. I'll quit driving by the time I'm 70. . .I expect to hire some youngin to do the drivin for me. And that person will be expected to set it on the posted liimit.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Who says Fast & the Furious is only for young people?
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      When to take the License Away
      One of the worse things a mate or child has to do is take the driver’s license away from a parent or other senior citizen that ‘thinks’ he or she can still safely maneuver a vehicle on the public thoroughfares, when it is painfully obvious that he or she cannot.

      Old age slows reaction times, dulls reflexes, dulls thought patterns, hearing, and eyesight and each of these items can lead to poor or dangerous driving. Additionally, the bones and internal organs of seniors are less elastic, and therefore easy to damage in the event of an accident. The results are that seniors over the age of 65 are seven (7) times more likely to be killed in an auto accident than those people 65 years of age or younger.

      What can you do as a senior citizen to limit your chances of being in a serious accident?

      Ø Drive on local or known roads and streets
      Ø Limit the number of trips taken
      Ø Limit night driving
      Ø Get frequent physical checkups, with hearing and eye exams
      Ø Plan out long trips in advance, street by street.
      Ø Do not drive when angry or when tired
      Ø Do not drive shortly after taking medications or alcoholic products
      Ø Do not drive strange vehicles until you understand all the controls

      What can you do as a child or mate of a senior citizen who is driving poorly?

      Ø Have the person talk to his or her doctor about his or her hearing and eyesight
      Ø Sit down and talk about what the person would do if his or her car was not operational for a period of several days to weeks.
      Ø Take a ride with the person to ascertain if his or her driving is being done safely.
      Ø Ask the person if he or she feels that their driving is being done safely. Keep claim and reframe from anger or heated disputes that will solve nothing.
      Ø Try to go from that person’s home to the store, club, bar, show, etc. See if there is a method other than driving that will be safer or advisable.
      Ø See if there are car-pools, busses, vans, or other senior transportation in your area.

      What to do if the person will not stop driving?
      Ø Inform the person’s physician and have him or her do a medical exam. Remember that many hearing, physical, and eyesight problems can be cured or corrected.
      Ø Call the DMV and have them request the person come in for a new driver’s exam. The DMV is in most instances the best judge of a person’s ability to drive, but not always. Plus, most DMV units can provide ‘provisional’ licenses that allow the person to drive specific roads or areas and at specific times of the week or day.
      Ø Disable the vehicle so the person cannot use it for several days or weeks and see what he or she does for alternate transportation.
      Ø Last resort - Take away the keys
      • 7 Years Ago
      This reminds me of a trip to the DMV where I was waiting behind a senior citizen. This was the fall of 1998 near Kohler, WI; hopefully they've changed things there since then. Anyway, this lady, she couldn't stand up long enough to wait in line for the 20 min it took, so they brought her a chair. She couldn't read ANY of the letters on the vision test. She couldn't do the quick sign identification at all. She couldn't see the paperwork well enough to know where to sign; they literally had to hold her hand over the paper while she endorsed it. And yes, she walked out of there with her license.
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