Missed issue

After reading the "debate" in last Sunday's paper concerning whether older drivers should be tested, I think both of the editors missed the larger issue.

In a time of shrinking budgets, many states are opting for multiyear licenses for drivers and their vehicles. This is intended to lessen the workload for state employees who previously had to annually collect and process license information, as well as administer required tests.

By extending license-renewal periods and alternating groups, the state will not have to relicense every driver and vehicle in the state each year. This is an example of "penny-wise but pound-foolish." Automobiles are now safety-inspected more frequently than drivers, even though it's the "nut behind the wheel" that causes most of the problems! At the very least, vision and hearing tests should be used to screen drivers for problems, regardless of age, and health records should be checked to see if a driver is on medication that could affect driver safety.

More emphasis on driver training and testing for younger drivers is needed, including tests in highway and heavy-traffic situations, as well as night driving. The goal of reducing taxpayer costs is acceptable, but not in exchange for reduced safety.

Pete Kirkman


Doctor input

I am against testing for the elderly. Taking away the privilege to drive should only be done when a doctor agrees with a court or failing of a test. These tests should be given at the same time sequence as younger drivers.

C.E. Schwartz

Galena, Kan.

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