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Published: Monday, 9/29/2003

An insult to seniors who drive

Your recent editorial on driving tests for seniors was a gross insult. You allow a few isolated incidents to affect the total. How would you deal with drivers who use their autos to kill themselves and their children? Should all drivers be tested and cleared by a psychiatrist?

We all have our vision tested every renewal. How do we assure there will be no more breast feeding of children when driving? How many of our younger people have veered left of center and killed or injured others?

Did you research the number of our youths who are killed every year within 10 days of getting their license, and the number of collateral deaths that they cause? Did you research how many seniors have their eyes examined every year? Did you research how many of our seniors seek out and take driver safety programs, which teach them defensive driving techniques, and new traffic laws, as well as renew their rules of the road?

They find out about age-related changes in vision, hearing, and reaction time, and how to compensate for them. They learn how their medications may affect their driving and they are brought face-to-face with the reality of giving up driving and the alternatives.

It's easy to place the blame on seniors. We could also solve the problem by outlawing cars. I suggest you attend a driver safety program and see how much you didn't know. Right here in our area there are thousands who take such a course every year, and I'm proud to say I am an AARP Driver Safety Program instructor.

ROBERT CREASON

Shady Lawn Drive

There you go again, picking on seniors. This time they don't drive right and should be tested regularly. Notable in your editorial was the lack of any reference to evidence that indicates they are more accident-prone than any other age group of drivers. You cited a couple of horrible accidents. Horrible accidents are caused by drivers of all ages.

Personally, I don't think young people should be allowed to drive until they're 25 years old, and women should never be allowed to sit behind the wheel. These people are just not good drivers. But then, I don't have the evidence to prove this, so I won't propose it. You should look for more evidence to support your views also.

GORDON SPRAGUE

Oregon

I've been following your comments on seniors driving, especially the editorial on Sept. 16. I realize the accidents in the news are very bad and deserve comment, but, come on, driving tests, eye exams for all seniors?

We have all the tests for all our drivers and it is apparent that a very, very large number do not qualify for a license of any kind.

I do not, as a very senior, qualify as a superior driver. But as I sit at a traffic light I watch the young ladies spin around the corner, cutting across my bow very close, coffee cup in hand, cell phone to their ear, maybe even doing their makeup. Or the young men doing much the same. This applies to almost any age group.

I agree the accidents are very bad - for all, not just seniors.

If I have offended anyone in anyway, I intended to.

PAUL L. FRITZ

Meadow Lane

After reading The Blade's exhortation on older people driving, I felt it was a good time to draw attention to speeding truck drivers. I agree that older people should have vision tests and perhaps renew their drivers' license more frequently (I'm 75 years old). Personally, I've had cataracts removed and also see an eye doctor about once every year or two.

Now I've not seen any mention of speeding semi-truck drivers who, it would appear, cannot see or do not heed red lights. I live in Oregon and have observed these truck drivers run red lights several times at the corners of Coy Road and Navarre Avenue, and also at Lallendorf Road and Navarre.

I have never seen one pulled over. I don't believe these truck drivers are all over 70 years of age. I have never had a ticket. That doesn't mean I never will but, c'mon, let's be fair about this issue.

I never cross these intersections on a green light until I check and am absolutely sure there's no big semi ready to run the red light. Again, let's be fair. There are more good older drivers than bad.

THAIS E. GHIATA

Oregon

Defacing property is a crime. I'm trying to explain the after-game tragedy at the University of Toledo to my young sons and I'm not sure how to go about it.

Let's see. Purchase tickets to a football game. Watch the game. Then return home. Yes, normally, vandalizing is a crime. Defacing property is a crime. Yet it's called “tradition” when the goalposts are torn down and stolen. As a result of this “tradition,” two students went to the hospital with serious injuries.

I read in The Blade that there are two groups formed to review the incidents. Don't waste the time. Right is right and wrong is wrong. Stealing and vandalizing are wrong. Don't do it.

SARA WELBORN

Perrysburg

I just received my real estate tax bill, notice of change. Am I paying for Ray Kest's education? Cell phone? Sleeping arrangements? His part-time work for $64,000 a year? His part-time work at the place I am paying it to? His complete lack of control of his mouth, and life?

This bill came out at a really bad time. Some one should have thought of this. Hopefully that means he is on his way out.

SHARON A. HARBSON

Sylvania

I commend the recent efforts of Toledo police Chief Mike Navarre to add additional officers to the streets of Toledo to ensure the safety of the city's residents. It was heartwarming to see that Toledo City Council members were in support of efforts to increase law enforcement.

However in a recent article published in The Blade it was reported that the staffing levels of the police force are at their lowest point in 10 years. It would appear that the city only saw this as problematic after the recent stabbing death of a 4-year-old child, when it took police 20 minutes to respond to her mother's frantic 911 call.

Couldn't the city have foreseen that something like this could happen when the decision was made to let the number of police on the streets dwindle to such a historic low?

While it's admirable that the city is taking these recent events seriously, why must a 4-year-old child die in order to get the attention of city leadership?

Another recent article in The Blade reported that officials within the police force have been making a case for a new class of police recruits for some time, only to be put off by supposed budget restraints. I realize that tough economic times call for sacrifice, but they also call for prioritizing needs. The safety of its citizens should be a city's top priority.

If nothing else, it is my sincerest hope that the city of Toledo learns a valuable lesson from this recent tragedy so that 4-year-old Skylar Burnard will not have died in vain.

CARRIE CRAUN

Pemberton Drive

Back in 1994, I attended an Ohio State-Michigan football game at Ohio State.

Ohio State won the game, and at the final gun, the fans rushed the field and headed toward the south end zone goal posts.

In a matter of seconds, a cloud of tear gas was dispersed. A few seconds later, the fans were dispersed. And the goal posts were left standing. No one was injured.

It's called being prepared ahead of time.

CHARLES POHLMAN

Airline Avenue



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