Saturday, July 28, 2007

Age of Concern

When I was young, I always felt that I was being discriminated against on account of my youth. Now that I am considerably older, it's my advancing years that seem to be the problem.
I suppose there was a brief interim period in my life when age didn't matter but I can't recall it.
The proposal that drivers in Britain, on reaching the Biblically assigned three score years and ten, should be re-examined, has some merit. A check of the physical attributes such as eyesight might be acceptable. But is is the arbitrary assumption that, on reaching that milestone, all drivers have become drooling incompetents that rankles.
A good many are drooling incompetents long before they reach that age.
Age has very little to do with competency in most things where physical effort is not required. Airline pilots are summarily dismissed at an age when they have just about found out how to do it, regardless of whether or not they are still capable.
Early retirement, which is the goal of so many, is a hideous prospect to those who enjoy their work and as long as all the faculties are retained, they should be allowed to continue.
A shining example was that of the London car cleaner for a transport company. Offered the day off to celebrate his hundredth birthday, he declined, with thanks.
“What would I do?” he asked, plaintively.
So re-testing drivers simply on account of their age is merely another bureaucratic obstacle in the race for life.
However, those of us that have lived in Florida or other retirement states, can remember the frightening sight of apparently driverless Cadillacs and Lincolns steaming down the highways. On closer inspection, you would find some little blue-rinsed old lady peering between the spokes of the steering wheel.
But whether they were any more dangerous than a hyped up seventeen year old at the wheel of his souped up, especially aluminium wheeled vehicle, I very much doubt.


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