The issue of elderly drivers is a sensitive one. Society must strike a balance between ensuring that the rights of these valued members are protected and ensuring that roadways remain safe. Recent examples of fatal accidents caused by elderly drivers demonstrate that this balance is not always struck. See 88-Year-Old Man Causes Head-On While Driving the Wrong Way on I-5.
A program in Portland, Maine is experimenting with a creative and thus far effective solution to this problem.
Under the program, elderly car owners have the option of donating their car to an organization called the Independent Transportation Network. In exchange, they receive rides whenever they want, sometimes in their old cars. Last year the program provided 15,200 rides to senior citizens. Similar measures are being undertaken in Santa Monica, California, Orlando, Florida, Charleston, South Carolina, and Trenton, New Jersey.
More information about the program is available at the following link: Maine Program Helps Elderly, Protects Society.
This is a creative and socially responsible approach which should be followed in other locations. If such a program had been in place locally, the accident that killed Mr. Jeremiah Watkins in December could have been avoided. See Head-On Collision Kills 27-Year-Old.