Letters to the Editor

MDPS should monitor elderly drivers

The Sun Herald's "How old is too old to drive? There are warning signs" (May 8) article prompted me to start checking on what requirements are in place to keep our roads safe for all drivers.

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have special provisions for mature drivers. These provisions include accelerated renewal frequency; restrictions of online or mailed renewals; vision and road testing; and reduced or waived renewal fees.

Mississippi Department of Public Safety has no special rules for drivers based on age alone. However, Mississippi has several renewal rules: Drivers over age 75 must renew their licenses in person, and the MDPS accepts requests from interested parties to conduct unsafe driver investigations. Wait, someone else must step forward and make requests to investigate a driver? I did read when someone is "disoriented," they may make them do a road test.

Don't get me wrong. Independence is valuable to everyone, especially to me, and no one wants to have their license revoked, but why do we have to have an outside request?

Why can't we, for example, conduct a vision test at each renewal for drivers over age 75? Or require a road test like the one we took to get our license at 15? This puts the burden on the MDPS, and families don't have to argue or intimidate their relatives with something as sensitive as taking their driving privileges away.

As Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, said, "I will never be an old man. To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am."