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View Full Version : Actor's Daughter-In-Law Among Victims of Santa Monica Crash Horror


lizchris
Jul 18th, 2003, 01:18 AM
Among the 10 victims (a 7 month old baby boy died today from his injuries) of the Santa Monica crash horror was Lynne Ann Weaver, daugher-in-law of acotr Dennis Weaver. For those who are old enough to remember, he starred in the 1970's US TV series McCloud.

The person responsible for this tragedy is an 86 year old man, who, in my opinion, should have not been behind the wheel, especially since he needed a cane to help him walk.

the cat
Jul 18th, 2003, 01:24 AM
This is just a terribly sad story! :sad: Some kind of senior citizen driving legislation has to come out of this tragedy. I recently heard a story about an 80 year old man in New York getting his drivers license renewed for 8 years! :eek: And that's ridiculous! Something has to be done to monitor the driving of the elderly.

lizchris
Jul 18th, 2003, 01:29 AM
There is no reason why someone over the age of 80 should get his/her licnese renewed for 8 years. Two, maybe and I am being generous.

disposablehero
Jul 18th, 2003, 02:02 AM
Some people who are in their 80's:

1. Haven't had a written or road driving test in over 60 years, or probably ever.

2. Have worse vision and reflexes than people who are drunk at twice the legal limit.

IMO, at age 65 drivers should be required to do another written or road test, as well as have their vision tested. After that, vision every 5 years but no more written or road should be required.

Keith
Jul 18th, 2003, 02:26 AM
They should give them some kind of incentive for turning in their licenses- like a lifetime bus pass.

Rocketta
Jul 18th, 2003, 02:35 AM
The problem lies with the fact that if you take away their driving priviledges some elderly would be left with no means of transportation to get groceries or go to the doctor or any other kind of freedom they are not ready to give up.

Its a sad case all around. The elderly are way more dangerous to others than teenagers behind the wheel. :sad:

I know of a local case where a guy on his motorcycle got hit by this elderly who didn't see and turned on to the road and ran over him. The guy on the motorcycle was only doing around 35mph. :eek: The old guy was just blind.

On the downlow, My mom can't see either she's 68. She can drive in extremely familiar areas, ie to work and Walmart. However, we forbid her to drive at night. We just don't let her do it. :sad: I actually have to get off my lazy butt and drive her places if she wants to go somewhere at night. :p

the cat
Jul 18th, 2003, 03:14 AM
You're a good girl, Rocketta! :D I knew it all along. You take good care of your mother. And you makes good points about elderly drivers. It really is a sad situation.

Bit when you say your mother can't see, I hope you mean she has something like 20/40 vision.

All of the posters in this thread make sensible points. But why can't someone in power do something about it? Do we have to wait on politicians to make new motor vehicle laws for the elderly?

~ The Leopard ~
Jul 18th, 2003, 03:53 AM
Its a sad case all around. The elderly are way more dangerous to others than teenagers behind the wheel. :sad:



Really? For every driving fatality involving an elderly driver there are many involving teenage drivers. The elderly may often have problems with suspect visual judgment and slow reflexes, but they usually make up for it with experience and caution. The combination of inexperience and testerone in many young male drivers is at least as dangerous.

There seems to be a lot of ageist prejudice in this thread.

Maybe only people aged between 25 and 45, when they have some life experience but have not yet started to become decrepit, should be allowed to drive. As for people with disabilities such as having a bad leg....let them hop around.

Nah, I don't think so.

Rocketta
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:06 AM
You're a good girl, Rocketta! :D I knew it all along. You take good care of your mother. And you makes good points about elderly drivers. It really is a sad situation.

Bit when you say your mother can't see, I hope you mean she has something like 20/40 vision.

All of the posters in this thread make sensible points. But why can't someone in power do something about it? Do we have to wait on politicians to make new motor vehicle Laws for the elderly?

Awww, :angel: :tape: :tape:

No, she had a stroke in one eye so her glasses can't correct that eye and she has blurry vision and no peripheral vision in it.

I haven't a clue what her vision is with her glasses?

disposablehero
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:07 AM
All of the posters in this thread make sensible points. But why can't someone in power do something about it? Do we have to wait on politicians to make new motor vehicle Laws for the elderly?

You don't pass laws to restrict the elderly. Like many minorities, the elderly vote on their hot-button issues. There are lots of them, and they typically have a high turnout. Plus, many younger (18-49) voters might see a government passing laws like that as "mean".

Democracy is great, but one of the many pitfalls of it is that sometimes doing the right thing can cost you your job.

decemberlove
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:14 AM
You don't pass laws to restrict the elderly. Like many minorities, the elderly vote on their hot-button issues. There are lots of them, and they typically have a high turnout. Plus, many younger (18-49) voters might see a government passing laws like that as "mean".

Democracy is great, but one of the many pitfalls of it is that sometimes doing the right thing can cost you your job.

blah, i was gonna say the same thing.

this is why we need magnetic tracks under the roads, so we can just get in our car, tell it where to go, and we're off.

disposablehero
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:16 AM
There seems to be a lot of ageist prejudice in this thread.



Joiussant, a 16 year old who is legally blind cannot get a drivers licence. Are you saying that someone who used to be able to see well enough to drive should be put in charge of a potentially lethal instrument?

If someone is confined to a wheelchair due to multiple sclerosis, they shouldn't be employed as a lifeguard because lives are at risk. Have compassion for people who lose their mobility, sight, reflexes, ior anything else we often take for granted. Don't let your compassion endager people. I work in the car business. I see old people who shouldn't be driving, and old people who should be driving. Young people who are dangerous drivers drive like assholes, and that is something neither a vision test nor a road test can discover, so there is little you can do about it. Old people who are dangerous drivers are easy to spot.

Rocketta
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:17 AM
Really? For every driving fatality involving an elderly driver there are many involving teenage drivers. The elderly may often have problems with suspect visual judgment and slow reflexes, but they usually make up for it with experience and caution. The combination of inexperience and testerone in many young male drivers is at least as dangerous.

There seems to be a lot of ageist prejudice in this thread.

Maybe only people aged between 25 and 45, when they have some life experience but have not yet started to become decrepit, should be allowed to drive. As for people with disabilities such as having a bad leg....let them hop around.

Nah, I don't think so.

Ah I said to "others". I didn't say they have more accidents than teenagers. However, teenagers kill themselves, Old people take "others" out. Teenagers still have the most accidents and they might have the highest mortality rate in vehicle accindents, I don't know. That is not what I was speaking to. Almost all of the elderly accidents I have heard of has resulted in the elderly person killing someone else and walking away from the accident like nothing just happened. That is scarily similar to a lot of the DUI's where they alchi-Row walks away with a few scratches.

Teenagers are dangerous drivers and I'm all for the restrictions that are put on them. Here in NC a 16yr can't drive by himself for like 6 months or so. They can't drive later than a certain hour and as their experience increases they get more privilidges. The don't become full-priviledged drivers until they are 18. Now Frankly after a certain age and loss of agility older persons should have restrictions put on. I'm sorry but if someone's hearing is failing and their eyesight is failing what are they relying on out there to prevent accidents?? How are they keeping track of the traffic around them without at least one of these senses being in top shape?

Don't get me wrong, I understand why older people still want to drive and absolutely need to drive. That is why I said it is sad all around because they are not ready to give up their freedom and that is what having a car and a license is its Freedom.

Also, extremely slow drivers are just as much problems as over zealous, extreme agressive drivers. I've seen so many near head on collisions because an older person driving 35 in a 55 has cars back up to Kallamazoo.

Cassius
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:24 AM
Democracy sucks:spit:

WHO WILL JOIN ME IN A REVOLUTION?!?!?!?!:woohoo: :secret:

~ The Leopard ~
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:50 AM
Okay a few points.

First, I put my post the way I did because there seemed to be very little looking at it from the viewpoint of the elderly, who would probably think of themselves as pretty safe drivers and think that younger people are the dangerous ones.

I am not actually opposed to compulsory eye tests every few years, for all drivers.

However, most posters on this board are so young that even their parents are relatively young people, i.e. in their 30s or 40s. By contrast, I am old enough that my mum and dad fall into the "elderly" category, and I must say they don't strike me as a menace on the road, because they are aware of their limitations. I think that is the case with most elderly drivers.

There's a tendency here to think of elderly people as "the other", to be resented or, at best, pitied. I think that's a shame.

By all means let's make sure that drivers are safe on the road. Actually, I have enough experience with the US to know how basic the practical driving tests are over there (compared with how strict, even pedantic, they are here in Australia). I'd have no objection to everyone having to take a basic, US-style driving test every few years to ensure they are essentially safe to allow behind the wheel. That would meet the problem without being discriminatory.

decemberlove
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:55 AM
Actually, I have enough experience with the US to know how basic the practical driving tests are over there (compared with how strict, even pedantic, they are here in Australia). I'd have no objection to everyone having to take a basic, US-style driving test every few years to ensure they are essentially safe to allow behind the wheel. That would meet the problem without being discriminatory.

us tests are easy, TOO easy.
i was on my 13th hour of tripping when i took mine. all hungover and sleepless for almost two days and i passed with flying colors. the written part was easy too, i never went to class and got a 98 on the exam.

i dont understand how anyone can fail either exam.

Rocketta
Jul 18th, 2003, 05:00 AM
us tests are easy, TOO easy.
i was on my 13th hour of tripping when i took mine. all hungover and sleepless for almost two days and i passed with flying colors. the written part was easy too, i never went to class and got a 98 on the exam.

i dont understand how anyone can fail either exam.

Hahah my sister failed the first time she took the written test and she's got a degree from a prestigeous school. :o

Its easy to flunk if a) you don't study plus b) you don't have a clue as to the driving laws cause you've never paid a rat's ass notice while being a passenger in a car. :)

Rocketta
Jul 18th, 2003, 05:07 AM
Okay a few points.

First, I put my post the way I did because there seemed to be very little looking at it from the viewpoint of the elderly, who would probably think of themselves as pretty safe drivers and think that younger people are the dangerous ones.

I am not actually opposed to compulsory eye tests every few years, for all drivers.

However, most posters on this board are so young that even their parents are relatively young people, i.e. in their 30s or 40s. By contrast, I am old enough that my mum and dad fall into the "elderly" category, and I must say they don't strike me as a menace on the road, because they are aware of their limitations. I think that is the case with most elderly drivers.

There's a tendency here to think of elderly people as "the other", to be resented or, at best, pitied. I think that's a shame.

By all means let's make sure that drivers are safe on the road. Actually, I have enough experience with the US to know how basic the practical driving tests are over there (compared with how strict, even pedantic, they are here in Australia). I'd have no objection to everyone having to take a basic, US-style driving test every few years to ensure they are essentially safe to allow behind the wheel. That would meet the problem without being discriminatory.

Yes I see your point and I do feel for the elderly. I totally understand their need to drive. I'm only speaking about the one's who are not up to par in the physicall capabilities. I think the testing should be tougher and or limitations. We do it to the young cause their age makes them a higher risk. The same can be said for the elderly.

Also, as my mom gets older she has become much more stubborn. She is much less likely to admit a short coming now that she is "old". It all stems from not wanting to see herself as "old". Trust me my mom does not look her age and she goes to work every day and works a demanding job. However, she's not able to admit to herself that her age has caught up to her with some things. Like I'm sure if I said right now at 1:00am in the morning, "That my sister wants her to drive to her city." My mother would think she could do it. She would be in a ditch so fast her her head would spin but you can't tell her that. So what do you do. I have no doubt that we will have to hide my mother's car keys when she gets to that dangerous age. Sad but true.

She had a uncle that was still taking his girlfriend through a McDonald's drive through when he was 90 something. That was some scary stuff! :eek:

Rocketta
Jul 18th, 2003, 05:50 AM
Charges Weighed in L.A. Crash, Death Toll Hits 10
Thu Jul 17, 7:43 PM ET Add Top Stories - Reuters to My Yahoo!


By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One day after an 86-year-old man lost control of his car and barreled for three blocks through a crowded street market in Santa Monica, the number of dead rose to 10 on Thursday as police weighed possible charges against the driver.


Among those killed at the popular farmers' market in Santa Monica, a beach suburb of Los Angeles, were a three-year-old girl, a 7-month-old boy, a married couple, and the daughter-in-law of actor Dennis Weaver.


At least three dozen others were hurt, 15 of them critically, when the maroon Buick LeSabre driven by George Russell Weller crashed through wooden sawhorses and careened down the closed-off street.


The retiree has not been charged with a crime but police searched his home for evidence that his driving abilities were impaired.


Santa Monica Police Chief James Butts told ABC's "Good Morning America" that investigators also believe that Weller had on at least two recent occasions struck the back of his garage with his car while parking.


Witnesses said Weller appeared dazed when he stepped from his car after it plowed through the midday crowd of shoppers. Blood tests showed he was not under the influence of prescription drugs or alcohol.


Weller had driven away from a nearby post office and realized too late that the street had been closed, police said. He told investigators that he tried to stomp on the brake but apparently hit the accelerator instead.


The grim accident has renewed a debate over elderly drivers, who according to state statistics are more likely to be involved in serious accidents than younger motorists when miles driven are taken into account.


In 1999 a California legislator proposed a law requiring driving tests for those over the age of 75 who sought to renew their licenses. The bill was proposed after 15-year-old Brandi Mitock was struck and killed in a Santa Monica crosswalk by a 96-year-old man.


RENEWED DEBATE OVER AGING DRIVERS


But after complaints of age discrimination by seniors groups the legislation was revised to instead target motorists deemed at risk because of medical conditions. References to elderly drivers were stripped from the bill.


The Daily News of Los Angeles reported that Weller, who had hip-replacement surgery several years ago, renewed his license in 2000 after passing vision and written exams and was not asked to take a driving test.


California Highway Patrol Commissioner Spike Helmick said the state should find a way to more closely monitor older motorists.


"I think at some point over 75 years of age, people should start looking at it," Helmick told reporters. "I know people who are 76 are going to scream at me. It's not going to be very popular. But I think I better get out on the end of this diving board and make a stance."


Cheryl Matheis, a national spokeswoman for the American Association of Retired Persons, said the group supports improved screening for medical conditions that could impair driving skills but did not endorse setting an age limit. She said a driving test might not have disqualified Weller, who has been described by friends as mentally sharp.


"We are now facing the first generation of people who have driven their whole lives," she said. "They live in the suburbs and they cannot conduct their lives without driving because there are no transportation alternatives. We need also to look at the bigger picture and see what we can do to solve that."


Bonnie Dobbs, a University of Alberta professor who has studied aging drivers, agreed that laws should focus on certain "red flag" medical conditions and not certain age groups. But she said people of advanced age often suffer from cognitive impairment, which puts them at risk while driving.





"The thing that puts this (accident) out of the range of normal is the fact that it occurred over three blocks," Dobbs said. "You would suspect that the average individual, if they had stomped on the gas instead of the brakes, would be able to recover. The fact that this individual did not suggests that there is something going on."

gentenaire
Jul 18th, 2003, 07:06 AM
I agree with Rocketta. It's a difficult issue. I think forcing elderly people to take a yearly exam would take away the blame from the children and that's good. When the doctor told my grandfather he shouldn't be driving any longer, we immediately sold his car and that made us the bad guys. He kept on going on and on about, he felt a prisoner in his own home. But it just wasn't safe for himto drive. My grandmother still had her car (30 year old car, hardly ever used) but since she only used to go to the hairdresser in the same village and no further and since we'd just taken my grandfather's car away, we decided to wait a little before taking her car away as well. Bad decision!

In December, my grandmother mistakenly hit the accelarator instead of the brake, hit a small pole on a rondabout and since the car was so old, she sustained quite a few serious injuries. Mentally she was fine. Right after the accident happened, she could tell the firemen who were going to cut her out that they needed to phone my aunt, give them her phone number, and that her aunt should tell my grandfather since he'd get too much of a shock if he'd get the police at his door, she was arranging everything in her usual manner. She was taken to hospital where she seemed to be in good spirits. We were relieved she hadn't hit another car, we were sorry her car was totally wrecked since it was 30 years old but as good as new (only 30.000k!!). A few years earlier, we'd suggested she'd buy a new car that was safer (with airbags and so on), but she refused, said she'd never get used to driving a new car.
Anyway, my grandmother died three days after the accident. So old people do not just take out others, they take out themselves as well.

And do you think my grandfather now agrees with our reasoning, that he thinks we were right in taking away his car? No way, he blames my grandmother's death on the car, the fact that it was so old, says we should use modern technology, not live in the past. After everything that's happened, he'd still like his car back. That's how difficult it is for elderly people! If there was a law about it, my grandfather could moan about the law, not about us ;)

the cat
Jul 18th, 2003, 11:16 AM
Excellent points made by Rocketta and BB.

DH, they should create driving laws for the elderly so tragedies like this one can be prevented. If this 86 year old man had been taken a written drivng exam or had to re-take the drivng exam I doubt he would have been issued a drivers license. Which means that 10 people probably wouldn't have been killed a couple days ago in Santa Monica, California.

TheBoiledEgg
Jul 18th, 2003, 04:14 PM
there's where the family come into play
a person that old shouldn't need to go and get some groceries or drive around.
They look after you when you can't fend for yourself (i.e. when you're a child) and its YOUR DUTY to look after your parents when they need looking after.
Just look at it this way, some day you are gonna be old and would you wanna be put in some Old Person's Home ??

~ The Leopard ~
Jul 18th, 2003, 11:31 PM
Believe it or not, I'm going to change my tune a bit....Tine's story is a very sad one.

I actually wonder whether a written examination is enough. An 80-something y.o. might still be very mentally sharp and do fine in a written test, but be unable to cope physically or psychologically behind the wheel.

My concern is not to protect unsafe drivers and keep them on the road. I am just very aware of how teenage drivers here are treated like shit by government bureaucrats. It is not at all like the situation in America which Holly described, and with which I am familiar. I would hate to see elderly people, who are already devalued so much by our society, treated in the same way.

the cat
Jul 20th, 2003, 08:32 PM
I don't want to see the elderly devalued either, Joui. But drivers over 65 should have to take aand pass a road test every 4 years. Then when they reach 75, they should be required to take and pass the road test every 2 years. I think that is reasonable. But how to implement driving laws for the elderly will not be easy.