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The Forum > General Discussion > Should Society Protect Old People From Themselves?

Should Society Protect Old People From Themselves?

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It was sad to hear of the deaths of two elderly gentlemen in a plane crash near Gympie Queensland.

"The pilots were an 80-year-old Caboolture man and a 77-year-old Glenwood man. Police Inspector Brad Inskip said the two men were in two separate aircraft a glider and ultralight. "We will be looking into the possibility that there was a collision mid-air."

From all reports this tragedy was down to pilot error, and could have easily been avoided. Both pilots were very experienced, what may be of concern is their mental and physical capacity due to old age.

The question is should old people holding licences such as car, boat, aircraft, gun etc be more carefully scrutinised as to their mental and physical capacity to engage in certain dangerous activities. Should society do more to protect old people from themselves? That is a fair question.
Posted by Paul1405, Friday, 11 November 2022 5:05:26 AM
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Dear Paul,

I remember when mum was having eyesight problems but her
drivers licence was being automatically renewed. Her
eye specialist warned us about mum's driving - but she
simply refused to listen. Telling us she was fine - despite
her insurance being outrageously high due to accidents she
kept having. Mum was in denial. Finally after another accident
where she ploughed into her doctor's front fence - I said that's
it. I'm going to report you to the police.

We ended up stepping in and getting rid of her car. We had no
choice. Luckily her accidents didn't hurt anyone physically.
Any how - yes - old people should be tested regularly and not
just given licences automatically. It can end in tragedy.
Posted by Foxy, Friday, 11 November 2022 7:42:25 AM
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At 92 I gave up driving. Marie was in rehab, and I used to drive to see her. I felt good every time I managed to make the trip without accident. Finally a social agency arranged transport for me, and that was the end of driving. I miss driving very much.

It is not just protecting me from myself. If I had kept driving I would have been a danger to others. The greatest and possibly most rewarding journeys are those of the mind.
Posted by david f, Friday, 11 November 2022 8:34:30 AM
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Don't you have required medical examinations for older drivers in Victoria Foxy? In Queensland we are required to gave one every year, including eyesight tests every year after age 75. Perhaps we need to be stricter on doctors, & make sure they are tot granting medical approval to the incompetent.

Personally I am more worried about the thousands of druggies & drink drivers on the road than the oldies, but it is of no importance why someone is incompetent to drive, no incompetent people should be on the road.

From the numbers caught driving while their licenses are suspended or canceled we need to be much more worried about substance abuse drivers, & the policing of them, than aged drivers.
Posted by Hasbeen, Friday, 11 November 2022 9:25:19 AM
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Paul: Age may have been a factor in this crash. Still, it would be useful to have some data on the relative ages of the pilots in other mid-air collisions before making assumptions.

Foxy: In NSW drivers need to get an optical and medical report annually from the age of 75 to retain their licence. From age 85 a driving test is required as well.
Posted by Cossomby, Friday, 11 November 2022 10:19:13 AM
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Protect old people from themselves, or other people from them? This bloke isn't interested in old people: he hates them. He is always banging on about 'old farts', even though he must be knocking on himself.
Posted by ttbn, Friday, 11 November 2022 10:29:41 AM
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