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Testing Mr. Magoo
March 17, 2011 - Jody Murphy
Earlier this week the Associated Press reported West Virginia lawmakers approved a measure that would provide more money for secondary roads by increasing motor vehicle fees.
Supporters say the legislation will provide $43.5 million more in annual road revenues. The measure would raise about two dozen Division of Motor Vehicle fees. They include the cost for a regular driver's license, which would increase from $12.50 to $32.50.
Registering a passenger vehicle would cost $45, a $16.50 hike. Vehicle title fees would more than quadruple, from $5 to $21.
I have an idea ... how about requiring all residents over the age of 70 to retake a vision and driving test every five years. Those over the age of 80 retake a vision and driving tests every three years.
I know this idea will never pass for a number of reasons — the least of which being the fact lawmakers are scared too death of irritating that vast voting block of retirement-age baby boomers.
How many times have you read a story about a car being driven the wrong way on a freeway or through a building and the driver has either been over the age 80 or drunk?
If the driver is drunk, there are penalties. If the driver is old there not.
What about our growing number of those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease? How many of them have car keys?
This isn't about age discrimination, It's about safety. As the population in this country — particularly this state — continues to age, we should consider the need for safer standards for elderly drivers. And those standards should include routine vision and driving tests.
That's my rant for this morning.
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