A Driving Instructor's Blog

This story reports how James Sims, a 93-year old driver, has been banned from driving for 6 months after he hit the gas pedal instead of the brake, and continued to do so. He shot across a busy road, narrowly missed a cyclist, and crashed through a park fence. Tests carried out by the police at the time of the accident showed that he also had defective eyesight (i.e. he failed the eyesight test).

PC Andy Sumner of Chelmsford Road Policing Unit, said: “Essex Police are dealing with more instances where motorists are driving after a point in their life when they are not fit to do so through mobility, reactions, eye sight, or the combination of medications…”

The six-month ban is a joke – he should be banned permanently. However, the court has ruled that he must pass an ordinary driving test in order to regain his licence, so in some respects it is perhaps as good as a lifetime ban. But on the other hand, there are some unfortunate souls out there with ADI badges who “specialise” in putting this kind of person on the road in the first place. And that makes you wonder who is the real guilty party when some old or infirm drivers have accidents.

In a completely separate, but almost identical incident, a 92-year old driver, Ernest Glover, was killed when he shot out of a private road and forced a collision involving another vehicle. Police have concluded that he, too, hit the wrong pedal.

PC [David] Pygott said this involuntary acceleration was common in elderly people driving cars with automatic gears, as Mr Glover had been.

There is more than just coincidence involved here. Fortunately, and unlike in the Cassie McCord case, and the Neil Colquhoun tragedy, no innocent party was killed. But there are numerous other examples of harm caused by these elderly fools. Far too many examples, in fact.

It’s obvious that this serious problem with elderly drivers just won’t go away. And it makes you wonder when something sensible is going to be done about it instead of allowing the bleeding hearts to get their own way all the time.

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