September 30, 2011

DMV Putting Driver's Lives at Risk

The tragic accident at an Amherst restaurant last week that killed two Wilson residents when a senior citizen driver drove through the front window of Cheeburger Cheeburger sparked a lot of debate about older drivers.  You heard many people saying that testing of older drivers needs to be increased and more needs to be done to keep those who have impairments off the road.

So, it's tragically ironic that the state DMV comes out and says it will no longer be requiring eye tests of drivers renewing their licenses?  Huh?!!?  WTF?!?!!?  Who would ever think taking AWAY a safety precaution is a good idea.  And clearly, this impacts older drivers who are obviously more likely to have failing eyesight.

Think about it.  DMV's response (though not directly related of course) to a 72 year old driver killing two innocent people eating a burger is to make it easier for those with failing physical abilities to get licenses.  Now, what would make DMV do something so fucking stupid.

Of course, the cynical among you would say it must be about money.  But how could this related back tot he almighty dollar?  Allow me to enlighten.  When you head over to one of Niagara County's DMV offices to do a transaction of some sort, the money stays in Niagara County coffers.  When you do a DMV transactoin on-line like vehicle registration  (which is totally more convenient) that money goes directly to New York State.

Well, because of the eye exam requirement, people need to go to the local DMV office every for their drivers' license renewal, hence the money stays local. But New York State wants the cash.  Hence, they eliminate the eye exam requirement so people can renew on line and Albany is fat and happy.

All of this would be well and good, a battle between dueling bureaucrats, except for that pesky fact that eliminating the eye exam will undoubtedly cost someone their life when a driver (most likely elderly) runs them down.  Governor Cuomo needs to step in and undo this but it's unclear if this is actually his staff's idea to help with the budget crunch.

There's an old saying for putting people at risk to make a few dollars...."blood money."  It fits in this case.

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