Thursday, August 30, 2012


We recently picked up a fortnightly domestic clean – which is hardly a drop in the ocean on the scale of our recent loss of income. But at least it’s a start and I’m very thankful for that.

When we went to visit and scope out the new job, the lady-of-the-house pointed out an area of bricks near the front door, which has been seriously impacted and will need replacing soon. She explained that the elderly gentleman across the road backed into this wall with his car.

I stood there, agape as my eyes measured roughly 15 meters (50 feet) between the wall of her house and the driveway of the neighbour’s house. Now I can understand how someone might back out of their driveway and into the side of a car parked against the kerb behind them.  I could even understand why someone might take a corner too fast and slew, out of control, into said brick wall.

But how could someone reverse out of their driveway, across a roadway and a nature strip, up and over a gutter, through a small garden, and still smack into the wall with sufficient force to stove in the bricks like that?

The lady-of-the-house is a gentle soul, who attempted to console the gentleman in question – telling him that bricks and mortar can be replaced, - the main thing was that no one was injured. And thankfully insurance will cover the costs of the extensive repairs needed.

But then the elderly gent had a further admission to make. It seems, a while back, he reversed out of his driveway and into the tree in the lady's yard!!!!!

Now I understand all about trying to help the elderly retain their independence. It would be a blow to be suddenly told you were no longer permitted to drive a car. To have to rely on public transport, and the good will of friends and family, to go anywhere outside of walking distance from your home.

But surely common sense must prevail here? This man should NOT be allowed behind the wheel of a car. He is just plain dangerous, and one of these days it won’t be a tree or a wall that he crashes into – but a person. I looked at the dent in that brick wall and shuddered at the thought of what he would do to flesh-and-blood.

This is not about discrimination against the elderly. This is not about the erosion of civil liberties. This is about public safety. 

©Lyn Murphy 2012


Kate Jenian said...

It's not even about his age, just his ability to drive. There are plenty of non-elderly drivers who really shouldn't be allowed a licence.

Ray Colon said...

Hi Lyn, I don't look forward to the day when safety considerations trump my need for mobility, but, if we live long enough, we will all reach that point eventually. Having this happen twice seems like reason enough.