Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Enticing the "elderly" to turn in their driver's licenses?

Category: Elder Law, Miscellaneous Musings

We all complain about other drivers, particularly here in New Jersey where we probably have the most awful traffic, road conditions and convoluted traffic patterns (we can't just turn left - we have a lovely invention called jug-handles instead) in the country.

Elderly drivers tend to get much of the ire - for right or for wrong. In Japan, they are trying to entice "elderly" drivers to turn in their licences ("elderly" is in quotes as they define it as 65 - odd for the country with the one of the longest life expectancies). Yahoo News reports:

Tokyo businesses are to start offering benefits to elderly people who give up their drivers' licences, backing a police effort to cut back on the ballooning number of traffic accidents caused by drivers over 65.

Among more than 30 special offers, one small bank will give higher interest rates, while Mitsukoshi department store chain plans to provide free delivery from its Tokyo stores and a hotel will offer a 10 percent discount on meals in a program starting next month, Tokyo police said on their Web site.

"Have the courage to give up your licence," the police say on the site. "If you have lost confidence in your driving ... if your family says they are worried about you driving ... please think about handing in your licence."

What about some sort of accelerated re-licensing system instead after a certain age? And where does 65 come from (John McCain is 72 after all, and he claims to be spry enough).

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