Maine Secretary Of State Summers To Explore Older Driver Restirctions

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Stephen Carmichael
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 8:05pm
Maine Secretary Of State Summers To Explore Older Driver Restirctions

Bangor Dailey News
AUGUSTA, Maine — Secretary of State Charlie Summers has begun an exploratory process that he said could lead to changes in driving laws affecting elderly motorists.

Summers said recent accidents involving elderly drivers in Maine...prompted him to target this age group in his initiative,... which comes on the heels of stricter laws for teen drivers ... recent crashes in southern Maine, including ...an elderly driver traveling the wrong way on Interstate 295 in Freeport... and another earlier this month in Portland, highlighted the problem.

***Maine ranks fourth in the nation for its percentage of fatal crashes involving drivers 65 or older!

pmrmsm
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Joined: 05/08/2006 - 10:52am
Stricter regulations being

Stricter regulations being discussed for elderly drivers in Maine

In recent weeks, Maine has seen a number of serious crashes where senior drivers were to blame, including one where a state trooper pulled in front of a man to stop him from slamming head on into others on the highway.
That’s why Summers says, "We have to be very, very careful. If we're able to help them take steps to mitigate some of the effects of aging, again cognitive tests, reflex tests.”

WGME

The link below is the video of the trooper using his cruiser to stop this elderly driver. This elderly driver said it never occured to him to stop in the median.

WGME

Tom C
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Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
Wait a minute- he is trying

Wait a minute- he is trying to blow off the old biddy vote?

How about AFTER the election!

pmrmsm
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Joined: 05/08/2006 - 10:52am
...and the ole' goat vote :)

...and the ole' goat vote
:)

Stephen Carmichael
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 8:05pm
Summers will allow the

Summers will allow the committee to make the recommendations the send them to the legislature for the votes. Summers can claim he is not the bad guy and by the time anything is done through a bill it will be long after the elections.

Roger Ek
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Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
Maine is the oldest state and

Maine is the oldest state and Charlie is going after those people as he struggles to gain name recognition. Who is advising him, Dan Demerett?

pmrmsm
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Joined: 05/08/2006 - 10:52am
If you ask me, this can't

If you ask me, this can't happen fast enough. I think once drivers reach a certain age, there needs to be a mandatory retake of the road test and this can be added to a reflexes test as well as a cognitive test. I can think of a few people that should go through this now and they have not had to be taken out by a police cruiser yet.

I don't know what the magical age should be set at, but I am guessing probably around age 70 to 75 and they should have to go through these tests every time it is time to renew their licenses. I also think the license term should be shortened from 6 years between renewals down to 3 for this age group.

Vic Berardelli
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Joined: 12/26/2001 - 1:01am
At any other time, I would

At any other time, I would laud the effort (and I'm a geezer driver). But Charlie just demonstrated a total lack of political ground game skills doing this in the height of his run for U.S. Senate. Maine is demographically the oldest state in the country and older voters tend to vote in higher percentages than any other age group. Good idea, bad politics. I can envision the Democrat/King operatives speaking to senior groups and raising the scare that there is a "Republican war on elders."

Dave Jackson
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Joined: 12/13/2005 - 7:00pm
Very old here, too, but seems

Very old here, too, but seems to me we elderly should be concerned with the Obamacare/Dems assault on the elderly, too.

Dave

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
I survived various

I survived various frightening things in combat ,at work, but I will attest one of the scariest events was following my elderly mother down Pleasant St. in Brunswick when she was in her early eighties!
Shortly after that (about 10 minutes) it was agreed that driving days were done!!! I was lucky she willingly gave it up. It is a hard call for them and family.
Ibelieve there is not enough awareness that families can contact SoS office and get help pulling the lic..
Even years before my wife would not ride w/ her driving after a trip from Logan airport out to Rt1 and 95 north!!!!
Any change would rightfully need title 29 changes so it is worthy of the leg. taking up issue.

Always remember elderly couple very well dressed at Weathervane Restaurant,obviously well into their 80's watching them consume two cocktails each and then upon leaving announcing they had to go get their prescriptions!!!!

It needs to be looked at!

Stavros Mendros
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Joined: 10/23/1999 - 12:01am
So Maine is 1st in number of

So Maine is 1st in number of older drivers but 4th in accidents involving older drivers. I'd say that puts our seniors ahead of the average.

Dennis
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Joined: 01/07/2006 - 12:10pm
Too bad Mr. Summers! You

Too bad Mr. Summers! You just lost my vote. In the interest of full disclosure--I turn 70 this fall.

Stephen Carmichael
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 8:05pm
If every elderly drivers, who

If every elderly drivers, who where a danger on the roads, decided to ride on loud motorcycles, the political will would be swift to act. The fact they are dangerous is not as compelling as the noise they might make to offend others sensibilities.

Some might say It's silly, but it's the truth of politics. I ride a motorcycle and more often then I would like, I end up dodging death by old drivers on the roads.

Violet Willis
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Joined: 05/22/2012 - 10:28am
Sorry Charlie . . . . you

Sorry Charlie . . . . you just lost any chance to become a Senator. Although I understand this . . .BUT . . . it is up to the elderly individual, families and doctors to decide if said elderly should keep on driving . . . and not up to the Secretary of State . . .also you forget the legions of cell phone users out there who call in erratic driving practices to the State Police . . . I have called 911 more than once driving down Route 1 . . . you lost the young voters (earlier) and elderly votes (currently) . . . this was a very bad move politically in this stage of your campaign. The demographics are not kind here and King will have a field day with this. . . .Best, Violet

Reaganite
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Joined: 06/21/2008 - 4:05pm
Charlie didn't have a

Charlie didn't have a realistic chance to win anyhow. Angus was going to wipe the floor with him even before this move. In this case, I think the people of Maine would have been better served had he acted to better publicize the current options that family members have to work with the medical community to revoke the licenses of those elderly who are true dangers to themselves and others.

johnw
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Joined: 03/11/2009 - 10:06am
This almost meets the

This almost meets the criteria for a legal challenge as age discrimination. The state will mandate that when you reach a certain age you will be required to submit yourself to"testing" whether you show any signs of an inability to drive or not?
I know plenty of people in their 70's and 80's who are as sharp as a tack and I'd get in a vehicle with them anytime. I also know a lot of fat sloppy, unfocused young and middle aged "adults" who shouldn't have a license simply because they are too stupid to walk and chew gum at the same time.
I'd be curious to know what the actual ratio of accidents is , older drivers vs other age groups..... it might surprise us all.
And yes, unfortunately Charlie stepped in it...... gee.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
johnw ,but would this pass

johnw ,but would this pass muster because driving is not a right it is a privilege ?

Dennis I am 65 this fall,if you miss the brake and hit the gas and hit my car house business etc. because of age related issues,I'll vote for Charlie.

There are means of addressing this issue that are appropriate and I agree the entire lic. procedures are in need of overhaul for all age groups ,particularly
ones w/ identified accidents related to age.

johnw
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Joined: 03/11/2009 - 10:06am
Bruce is it discrimination

Bruce is it discrimination when you make a privilege conditional based on age based mandatory testing ?

jcmcards
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Joined: 01/28/2009 - 1:27pm
Another blunder....let's do

Another blunder....let's do the math. Oldest population = voters, no matter the intent we must remember that perception is reality....perception is Summers attacking seniors......wow, who is running that campaign? who is advising the candidate? If this is really an issue, could it not wait and be proposed by someone else in the form of a bill?

BlueJay
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Joined: 04/18/2005 - 12:01am
jcmcards, I could not agree

jcmcards, I could not agree more. This is disappointing from a campaign I had so hoped would make some bright moves. Terrible timing to promote this idea. Who is running the show?

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
Why do we have special

Why do we have special conditions on teenage drivers ?

Roger Ek
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Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
Inexperience. Student pilots

Inexperience.

Student pilots do not start out by landing on aircraft carriers. You need to build a knowledge base to be safe.

Stephen Carmichael
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 8:05pm
For the same reasons the

For the same reasons the police set up roadblocks for motorcycles the other year. If there where a simple field test to be done for cognitive ability and It's relationship to safe operation of a motor vehicle, the legislature would have already put it into place, just as DUI laws have been used.

Abacus
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Joined: 01/14/2011 - 12:21pm
Sorry Charlie . . . . you

Sorry Charlie . . . . you just lost any chance to become a Senator. Although I understand this . . .BUT . . . it is up to the elderly individual, families and doctors to decide if said elderly should keep on driving . . . and not up to the Secretary of State . . .also you forget the legions of cell phone users out there who call in erratic driving practices to the State Police . . .~Violet Willis

What? Let's break this thought process down...

It's up to the elderly individual: Obviously it's not because otherwise they wouldn't be driving. They cannot perceive there is anything wrong, so they keep driving. I was broadsided once by an older gentleman who didn't even know he was moving. Luckily I was in my old jeep and he did no significant damage, but he didn't even know he was moving, despite my honking the horn and yelling at him, until he hit the jeep.

It's up to family members: How, exactly. A friend had a family member who was a hazard, and they wanted to keep driving since they 'drove just fine'. They called the DMV about it who said there was nothing they could do until their license was up for renewal. The local police department had no issue with them driving (no accidents, reports, etc), so they had no jurisdiction. Good luck with trying to convince anyone with authority to take away another person's license because you think they are a hazard.

It's up to the doctors: It's only up to the doctors if there is a medical reason the person cannot drive anymore. That is where their jurisdiction ends. They do not ride with the patient, cannot discuss the patient with anyone else (without approval), and do not have the authority to suspend a license.

So it IS up to the Secretary of State since driving is a privilege and not a right. That is absolutely his job to make laws that ensure those driving the roads are competent to do so.

I have called the state police, county police, and town police many times about erratic drivers, but unless the officer actually sees the person doing something improper, they cannot do anything about it. In every case I have reported, I watched the person even drive right by the very police I called and not get stopped. I even turned around once and talked to an officer, and was admonished for doing so. Then the guy left the Irving station and drove off.

Ineffective doesn't begin to describe it.

Tom C
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Joined: 01/03/2006 - 6:00pm
"Republican war on

"Republican war on elders."

Thinking this through, I don't see it as being a the worst thing in the world. I mean, I doubt if the democrats are going to say that Charlie Summers is trying to take old people's driver's licences away!

Everyone knows this issue needs to be addressed.

At the same time, I don't think it's the greatest polictical strategy, either. Seniors' driving rights are a sensitive issue, and some seniors may feel threatened by this initiative.

Many the Republicans should campaign to the old biddies: "Send Charlie Summers to the US Senate so he won't be able to your Maine driving licence away!"

Islander
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Joined: 02/13/2009 - 12:16pm
Before my grandfather stopped

Before my grandfather stopped driving, we were very afraid he would hurt some young family, thankfully that never happened. It was not easy getting his license withdrawn, but we did. The other problem was he did not care if he had a license or not,and so we took the car away also.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
And when the landings on a

And when the landings on a carrier becomes not up to standards what happens?
Yes , it is to gain experience except they requirements have little to do w/ skill.
Actually when one comes down to it, the level of technical skill, that has to be demonstrated to utilize a very dangerous tool is very low!
They are age based and hence the question is that discriminatory or exempt from that !

Roger Ek
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Joined: 11/18/2002 - 1:01am
In Newport, NH on the third

In Newport, NH on the third Thursday of the month they do driver tests. One Thursday there was an old man on the bench with the kids. The state driver tester asked why the old man was there. Sylvester Kiggins (Vesty) said he was going to be 100 years old the following week and he had come to turn his driver's license in. He had never had a ticket in the over 80 years he had been driving.

Stephen Carmichael
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Joined: 06/19/2008 - 8:05pm
One of my co-workers was

One of my co-workers was driving down Rt27 last summer and drove up to a car that was drifting all over the road. He called the Lincoln County Dispatch and reported what he though was a drunk driver. He tailed the car reporting It's location while a Sheriffs Deputy in a patrol unit responded from the far side of Ythe county. The CO was in Dresden at the time of contact with the suspicious driver, he followed the cat all the way to the Rt1 Wiscasset junction, where the driver of the car stopped and didn't appear to know where to go. The CO approached the operator and discovered a man in his 80's acting confused.

The old man thought he was in upstate NY about to cross into Canada. The CO recognized the old man was confused and appeared to have been driving all night long. This all happened. at 5:30 am. The CO asked the old man to pull off the road and wait for the help of the Deputy, who arrived shortly after the CO.

The CO went on his way after help arrived. We don't know what became of the confused man. He was completely out of touch with reality at the time and couldn't hold a conversation.

Bruce Libby
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Joined: 01/17/2006 - 7:08pm
And he is entitled to be that

And he is entitled to be that way,his AARP card says so. (kidding I think)
Isn't interesting that we acknowledge this is a legitimate issue a politician in an appointed position is doing what he is suppose to do , and some will not vote for him because of it.

I wonderhow many elderly drivers get in an accident which could a sited( constitute a violation) and aren't?

Mainelion
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Joined: 08/11/2005 - 12:01am
I don;t know how many times

I don;t know how many times that has happened Bruce, but we do know that a state trooper was speeding on an icy road when he crashed and stove up Baldacci's ribs. He was never charged.

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