In response to the new Ontario government initiative regarding new/young drivers, I sent this letter to my Member of Provincial Parliament (who also happens to be Premiere) today:
As a citizen of Ontario and indeed, one of your constituents in Ottawa, I am writing to you to express my feelings regarding the recent proposed legislation for drivers.
It is my opinion that this legislation does not go far enough. Indeed, while it does address a problem, it leaves untouched a problem that is just as serious. It is known that, per mile driven, seniors are as dangerous as teens. This is backed up in US evidence, although I don’t have Canadian stats handy. Worse, statistics likely underestimate senior driving problems due to the fact that erratic senior driving may cause accidents that don’t directly involve the senior driver due to other drivers having to take evasive action.
It seems to me, that a comprehensive driver safety legislation package would treat people fairly at all age levels. Certainly if the scourge of irresponsible teen drivers must be addressed, then ethics and fairness would lead one to believe that the scourge of incompetent seniors must also be addressed.
I recognize, however, that seniors tend to vote in large numbers, and teens… well, teens don’t make their voices heard.
The Ontario Liberal party, and you in particular have the reputation of doing what you believe is right, regardless of the political capital you may spend in the process (i.e. the health-care non-tax). It is because of this that I ask you to take a stand for what is RIGHT in this case, not just what is politically expedient. Crack down on senior citizens with the same vigour and enthusiasm with which your government is addressing the problems of teen drivers. Level the playing field and make the roads truly safer for all Ontarians.
If I get a response, I’ll post it. [edit: 5 Feb, 2016 – I never did get a response]
Now, I’m all for safer roads. But let’s do it by getting incompetent drivers off the road… not by making it harder for teens to get experience so we’ll have MORE incompetent drivers on the road.