Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sense, sensitivity and S plates

We live in an age of icons, favicons, emoticons, badges, logos and many other symbols. Each has one purpose, i.e. to convey a message pictorially. We’re bombarded with messages. Overloaded. So we respond to them reflexively – because they’re shorthand in an ever busier world. It’s reflexive: Look then act – mostly without intermediate thought. And so to today’s rant. In this item in last Sunday’s Age [1], a consultant pharmacist – of all people – proposes drivers older than 85 should be subject to a raft (don’t you love that word) of measures aimed at making them safer drivers. On the raft are home visits by pharmacists (of course) to check prescription drugs aren’t impairing their driving, and zero blood-alcohol behind the wheel. Also – here’s the rub – senior citizen ‘S’ plates. To her credit the article’s writer, Jill Stark, presents the pros and cons of the S plate argument. I intuitively agree the major cons are stigmatisation and thus road rage elder abuse. Old people have enough difficulty living their lives without the risk of that. In summary, the statistics are persuasive that elderly drivers are a high risk group. So something must be done to reduce this risk. I agree with all the proposed interventions – apart from S plates. I’d add annual driving tests – when medications could also be checked. But subjecting elderly drivers to the indignity of, and risk inherent in, displaying S plates is abhorrent to me. And I’m still 22+ years from my 85th birthday.

2 comments:

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

As usual you are at least a day ahead of me and often light years. I wrote my brief blog bit and then looked at yours, so take your choice an elderly possibly poor shoulder checker or a texting teenager.....

farmdoc said...

The former sounds to me like a more interesting person, Chrows25. But I'll bet the latter's more dangerous out there on the roads.