Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

SUBJECT: SOCIETY!!! (And Politically Incorrect!!!)

Our local Boy Scout troop suffered a loss last Friday.

On Sunday, June 14th, one of our adult volunteers, a blind man, who loved the Scouts and was much loved by the troop was struck by a car. He used both a cane and a guide dog, and there are "Blind Person Area" signs posted throughout our small downtown area (population, roughly 8,000).

He died on Friday and will be buried today. Many of the Scouts will be present at the funeral in their Class "A" uniforms to pay their last respects to a kind and decent man.

There is no excuse for the accident.

The individual driving the car was 81 years old with a history of traffic violations and citations. At this time, I do not know what charges, if any, are pending.

I realize that this is a politically incorrect opinion to hold, but this accident demonstrates to me -- yet once again -- that when one reaches a certain age and/or state of health, one's driving privileges should be restricted, or even taken away.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that everyone over a certain age should not be allowed to drive. I'm not saying that at all. People age at different rates. Mrs. Smith might be fully capable of driving at 90, while Mr. Jones might need to stop at 72. I'm not advocating for an "age cut-off".

What I AM suggesting is that at a certain point in time, 8-year license renewals need to become 5 or 3 or 1-year license renewals, and that past a certain age, road-testing needs to become a requirement for renewal.

When I first learned to drive, the State of Maryland had a graduated license program. First, I got my learner's permit, which was severely restricted. Then, I received my provisional license, which was considerably less restricted. Only after I had completed both "probation" periods (without violations) did I receive my "permanent" license. Wisconsin has a graduated program as well, though not as strict as Maryland's was.

What I am suggesting is that beyond a certain age or state of health, reasonable graduated restrictions be implemented including more frequent renewal periods and road-tests. In addition, I would like to see a provision wherein a license could be revoked after a certain number of age or health related citations were received -- even if they are only minor citations. I will be contacting my state legislators to this effect.

This was a preventable tragedy. Let's prevent further tragedies of this nature from occurring in the future.

Meanwhile, Adam, may your soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon you. And you'll be able to SEE that light!

Papa Z

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Blogger MommaBlogger said...

How sad :(

2:54 PM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

I agree. Sad, and utterly unnecessary. (As you can probably tell, I'm pretty "spun up" on this!)

3:02 PM  
Blogger Joni said...

I don't blame you. I have felt this way for many years as well. We used to live in a community in the Detroit area, which had a large senior population. We often saw "near accidents" that were due to slow reaction time or other avoidable causes (pulling out too slowly into fast-moving traffic, cutting off fast-moving traffic, etc.). Not only are they endangering their own lives, but the lives of others.

I have had grandparents deal with this issue (some did well; some, not so well). Now my parents are quickly approaching that stage in life.

A review of skills every year or so would be a great help!

2:59 PM  

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