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Thread: seniors driving

  1. #1
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    seniors driving

    A group of seniors were sitting around the pool talking about their ailments.

    "My arms have gotten so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee," said one.

    "Yes, I know," said another. "My cataracts are so bad I can't even see my coffee."

    "I couldn't even mark an 'X' at election time, my hands are so crippled," volunteered a third.

    "What? Speak up, I can't hear you," said a fourth.

    "I can't turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck," said a fifth, to which several nodded weakly in agreement.

    "My blood pressure pills make me so dizzy I can hardly walk," exclaimed another.

    "I forget where I am and where I'm going," said an elderly gent.

    "I guess that's the price we pay for getting old," winced an old man as he slowly shook his head.

    The others nodded in agreement.

    "Well, count your blessings," said one woman cheerfully.



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    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    While the story is funny it points out a growing concern
    for states nationwide as to when to take seniors OFF the road.

    I took my aunts car away from her 78 yrs old. She howled that
    she would be trapped at home. By 81 yrs old she was glad she
    didn't have to drive any more now that we took her everywhere
    she wanted to go (which was much less that she thought).

    When she passed at 93yrs old she had almost forgotten that
    she ever had a car or the expense they caused and didn't
    miss them one bit.

  3. #3
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tightwad
    While the story is funny it points out a growing concern
    for states nationwide as to when to take seniors OFF the road.

    I took my aunts car away from her 78 yrs old. She howled that
    she would be trapped at home. By 81 yrs old she was glad she
    didn't have to drive any more now that we took her everywhere
    she wanted to go (which was much less that she thought).

    When she passed at 93yrs old she had almost forgotten that
    she ever had a car or the expense they caused and didn't
    miss them one bit.
    <dons flame suit> I know the 50+ folks will howl and rant about this, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: There should be mandatory driver testing with decreasing periods of time between tests as you get older. We've all seen the reports of people losing control of their cars and driving into hair salons, buffet style restaurants etc. There was one senoir gent who forgot about a street fair and drove through a large crowd of people in California. Many of the effects of getting older make driving more challenging than it ought to be and I feel that mandatory testing will help take those who shouldn't drive off the road faster than simply letting "incidents" happen

  4. #4
    Compulsive Upgrader cyclingshane73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    <dons flame suit> I know the 50+ folks will howl and rant about this, but I've said it before and I'll say it again: There should be mandatory driver testing with decreasing periods of time between tests as you get older. We've all seen the reports of people losing control of their cars and driving into hair salons, buffet style restaurants etc. There was one senoir gent who forgot about a street fair and drove through a large crowd of people in California. Many of the effects of getting older make driving more challenging than it ought to be and I feel that mandatory testing will help take those who shouldn't drive off the road faster than simply letting "incidents" happen
    You'll get no flame from me. I agree with you.

    Kinda funny/sad/scary thing happened to me five years ago when I was renewing my DL. I'm standing in line with a group of 20 somethings, which only had one kiosk open for us so of course the line was moving quite slow. There was a separate line for seniors which had two kiosks open to process them "faster" I guess... Anyway. A few of us are watching with some amusement, this elderly gent who shuffles up to the counter, cane in hand and the clerk is shouting at him, giving him instructions on what to do. "MR. SMITH! (we'll call him that) I NEED YOU TO GO STAND INFRONT OF THE WHITE BOARD SO I CAN TAKE YOUR PHOTO". So Mr. Smith shuffles over to the board and stands facing the white board. Now, unless they are taking photos of the back of your head this is no good. "MR. SMITH I NEED YOU TO FACE THE OTHER WAY" So what does he do? He walks around to the other side of the board. No good either. Now several of us are trying hard to not laugh outloud at this. "MR. SMITH I NEED YOU TO COME OVER ON THIS SIDE OF THE BOARD!" He finally gets it. She snaps his photo, and he dutifully shuffles back to the counter and she stamps a bunch of forms and sends him on his way. Those of us still in line after this 10 minute sketch comedy break, are looking at each other, commenting, "and we share the road with this man?"

    It gets better, An elderly lady, quite petite, dolled up in her best Sunday dress is next. You can picture her behind the wheel of some big arse land yacht barely looking over the wheel. You know the ones when travelling behind, looks like no one is at the wheel. Thats her. "Mrs. Smith" again we'll call her that, sashays (sp?) up to the counter with her little lace gloves and white purse. The Clerk tells her to go stand infront of the white board. Not getting a hint after watching Mr. Smith, she does the same thing he does, and stands facing the board. The clerk tells her to turn around, so she does...a complete 360 degree turn around and faces the board again!. Suffice to say that those of us still in line, trapped in the horror that we will also being sharing the road with this wonderful lady, just start cracking up. Now I don't care, some one could say that the clerk was not clear in her instructions, but come on! Honestly, its not freaking rocket science.

    I would say that as I get older, I have enough common sense to know when enough is enough. Or at least if I'm too stubborn, someone will have the balls to give a little tough love and tell me I no longer possess the skills needs to handle a 2 ton surface to surface missle. Preferably some one who loves me and will do so for my own good as well as the good of others.
    "No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs. We should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power." -P.J. O'Rourke

  5. #5
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiffee_shane
    You'll get no flame from me. I agree with you.

    Kinda funny/sad/scary thing happened to me five years ago when I was renewing my DL. <snip for length>
    I would say that as I get older, I have enough common sense to know when enough is enough. Or at least if I'm too stubborn, someone will have the balls to give a little tough love and tell me I no longer possess the skills needs to handle a 2 ton surface to surface missle. Preferably some one who loves me and will do so for my own good as well as the good of others.
    Most of us have had an experience like that, it's scary who's on the road these days.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Xtrmyorick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiffee_shane
    Now I don't care, some one could say that the clerk was not clear in her instructions, but come on! Honestly, its not freaking rocket science.
    There's also the fact that you'd think they would've had to have had their picture taken numerous times for previous renewals. Or that they have a slight idea of how a camera works.

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    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    I hope when I'm 75 I don't have to drive a car, I'm hoping I can still jump on my bike and ride that, about the most damage I can do on that is run in front of a car and they will put me out of my misery. I'm hoping though that I will be retired in some nice country spot with very few cars and lots of beautiful scenery to see as I pedal along (probably not very fast)

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    A young, aggressive driver is much more likely to kill you when you are riding your bike. SUVs coming from the opposite direction are turning left into my path and I'm going straight. I almost got killed twice this week. I didn't really get a good look at the drivers as I was mostly watching my life flash before my eyes, but little old ladies don't drive SUVs and they do yield right of way. I did notice as they sped away yellow ribbon decals supporting the troops. Fighting on the home front, I suppose. I wonder you these morons will be voting for?

  9. #9
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stiffee_shane
    You'll get no flame from me. I agree with you.

    I would say that as I get older, I have enough common sense to know when enough is enough. Or at least if I'm too stubborn, someone will have the balls to give a little tough love and tell me I no longer possess the skills needs to handle a 2 ton surface to surface missle. Preferably some one who loves me and will do so for my own good as well as the good of others.
    Giving up driving has got to be one of the toughest things for a senior citizen to give up. I feel bad for the folks in the stories you told. As much as I hope to never get old, I'm sure I'll have to make the same decisions at some point. I'm an optometrist at a busy hospital, I deal with elderly drivers every day. I had an 81 year old patient today advice me, "don't ever get old". Despite his good advice, he was in relatively great shape. His vision was 20/25, mental status, in my judgement, was excellent. His alertness was good, and he was in above average physical shape. There was no justification to take away his license solely based on his age . I've had other patients that are much younger and for various reasons I've had to deny them the privilege to drive. None of us can understand what it's like to be old, we haven't been there yet. Too often, the young make uninformed judgements about elders.

    If you're on a bike, I'd wager that you are much more likely to be killed by 1) a 15-20 year old male "boy racer", 2) a cell phone talking, SUV driving, soccer mom,or 3) a drunken redneck in a Dodge pickup At least thats how it is where I have lived. A careful 80 year old who has passed his drivers license test should be perfectly fine to drive. Similarly, I'll tell you that there are 50 year olds that for various reasons have lost most of their vision and shouldn't be on the road. But because they don't look "old", no one with authority will ever take away their license. These are the ones to look out for.

    I do agree with mandatory drivers license testing for seniors, but don't assume that every senior citizen on the road is a poor driver. Just isn't so.

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    I am 83 years old and am quite concerned with my driving ability. I have to take a driving test every five years when I renew my license. I always get 100% on the written driving test. However I think that every driver over 65 years old should be given a driving road test. I really find a lot to ***** about the older drivers. Many that I see should not be driving. However I also have a lot to ***** about the very young drivers. Some years ago we stopped providing drivers training in high school. You can really notice the difference today with young squirts running red lights and further now with the popularity of the cell phone the problem is just multiplied that much more.
    One of the big things that scare me is the fact that we old people are not aware of our loss of ability in driving. A friend of mine who is my age bragged about how his ability to drive was the same as when he was a young man. I had one occasion to ride with him. He was terrible and should not have a driverís license. We almost had an accident getting out of the parking lot. He subsequently had two horrible accidents totaling both cars which did not sound like his fault, but I am sure if he had been an alert younger driver he would not have had them.
    I hate both the very young drivers and the very old. The young drivers make stupid decisions and the old drivers are incapable of making any decision good or bad.
    I will be 88 years old by the time I am required to renew my license. I think it is absurd that I have not been given an on road driving test by now and in the future. The written test is useless in determining my ability to drive. I am an educated man and the written test is useless and an absurdly easy out for the DMV.

  11. #11
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox

    It truly disturbed me, that at age 65, I got an automatic renewal on my license - didn't even have to have an eye exam. Scary - but not because I am 50+, but because they do this with EVERYONE, as long as their ticket record is clean. I could be blind and have my license renewed. I could have advanced Alzheimers and still have my license renewed. I could be a terrible teen-age driver and still have my license renewed.

    AGE should not be the determining factor. Everyone needs to be regularly tested, and they should be charged enough to pay for the costs.
    Perhaps you need to learn to read more effectively. I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    There should be mandatory driver testing
    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    with decreasing periods of time between tests as you get older.
    I'm in complete agreement that teenagers SUCK at driving. I also feel that probational licenses should be given to drivers under 21 years of age - one moving violation = three month suspension, two = six months, three and you lose your license until age 21 no question, no appeal.

    Back to the topic:
    If you have a clean driving record age is the only thing the DMV has to go by - they can't access your medical history and the docs don't have to give it.
    Last edited by Raiyn; 10-16-04 at 12:15 AM.

  12. #12
    The Iceman cometh! Bop Bop's Avatar
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    Raiyn,

    I'm 55 and I agree. Think of it this way in most states you get a Drivers License and it's yours for life. The only time it gets taken away regardless of age or ability is if you have too many points or drinking and driving, but in most cities you have to renew a Dog License every year or two. You tell me which is more important? Makes no sense!!
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    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bop Bop
    Raiyn,

    I'm 55 and I agree. Think of it this way in most states you get a Drivers License and it's yours for life. The only time it gets taken away regardless of age or ability is if you have too many points or drinking and driving, but in most cities you have to renew a Dog License every year or two. You tell me which is more important? Makes no sense!!
    Dnvr and I have had this arguement before hence the "I know the 50+ folks will howl and rant about this" comment. I completely agree with you Bop Bop.

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    The Cornfield Kid
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    *Puts on flame suit and steps up to microphone

    Here is my 2 cents most of which i m sure will get flamed. I live in the Midwest, Iowa to be exact and we see to have more "elderly" drivers then alot of other parts of the country i.e. the coats. The biggest problem we have here is basicly the people just keep freakin driving even when they cant, the towns are small enough that people know the cars and know when earl is gonna run the stop sign or when he ll stop. People just go OH that Earl, he something else, but this stuff has got to stop. I KNOW OLD PEOPLE ARE NOT THE ONLY BAD DRIVERS. What i m saying is that they need to be given less privledge at a certain age, i saw in a post above that the guy was like 60 or something and had 5 freakin years left on his DL! 5 years come on people alot can change in that time before the dude would even have to legaly renue! I ve always wanted to take all the bad drivers and let me drive with other bad drivers one day a week each month until they kill off eachother and thus take care of themselves, but that is far from realistic. This is a very real problem that needs some kind of pragmatic solution. I understand its a freedom being taken away that these people dont want to give up but come on when its either get a ride from a family member or kill someone what are you going to do. Nothing will ever bcome law because AARP will smite it down with is wrinkled old fist . I have alot of respect for the elderly they ve done great things for this country but who the freakin heck is gonna respect me when i m dead cause some old geezer ran a stop light and ran me over? Its a two way street with power come responsibility, if you cant drive then DONT! It donst matter your age if your 24 34 44 or 84, if you cant hack it, pack it in and call a cab
    *end rant, prepares for massive personal attacks.

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    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    thats sucks
    The evening of the accident was sunny and warm. The highway in which he was racing was almost void of traffic. The required warning signs were set up along the course and the officials and marshals all wore reflective vests. Cooper's Baddlands Club jersey was also bright yellow. The stretch of road that he was killed on was straight with no obstructions. The sun was not a factor. June 24th was the second longest day of the year with the sun still high in the sky. The two elderly occupants in the car never even saw him until he came crashing onto the windshield. Alcohol and drugs were not a factor in this accident.

    After a lengthy investigation by the Washington State Patrol, the woman who struck Cooper was given a $250 ticket. End Of Deal!
    No one wants to see this woman punished more than she already has been. She has to live with this memory for the rest of her life. What the parents of Cooper Jones want is is to change the law that permits a driver to hit and kill a cyclist / pedestrian and walk away with a $250.00 fine. Is life so cheap? We had expected that the person involved would at least have her license test retaken. But there is no law in this state that requires a retest.. http://www.baddlands.org/cooper_jones/background.htm
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    Compulsive Upgrader cyclingshane73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike
    If you're on a bike, I'd wager that you are much more likely to be killed by 1) a 15-20 year old male "boy racer", 2) a cell phone talking, SUV driving, soccer mom,or 3) a drunken redneck in a Dodge pickup At least thats how it is where I have lived. A careful 80 year old who has passed his drivers license test should be perfectly fine to drive. Similarly, I'll tell you that there are 50 year olds that for various reasons have lost most of their vision and shouldn't be on the road. But because they don't look "old", no one with authority will ever take away their license. These are the ones to look out for.

    I do agree with mandatory drivers license testing for seniors, but don't assume that every senior citizen on the road is a poor driver. Just isn't so.
    Hey I agree with you that it's not just certain seniors who can be dangerous drivers. All the other categories of drivers you mentioned worry me just as much. I just thought I'd share a story relevant to the thread title/topic. I've also said my piece in other threads on the SUV's, street racing, etc. I think the problem is that most people forget regardless of age that having a DL is a privilege not a right. And by taking that privilege away from them, they think that their rights are being taken away.
    "No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs. We should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power." -P.J. O'Rourke

  18. #18
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    The following folks, all identified as 50+ folks, have either totally agreed or partially agreed with you:

    Tightwad
    DnvrFox Ummm Maybe I missed something. Why do you talk about yourself in the third person?
    Litespeed
    Robert Gardner
    Bop Bop

    None have totally disagreed with you.

    Yet, you claim that the 50+ folks are (or will be) howling and ranting. Which 50+ folks? I fail to see any that totally disagree and I absolutely fail to see anyone howling and ranting.

    I'm for mandatory thorough testing of EVERYONE, including 50+ folks. How can that be in disagreement with you?
    Because the last time I brought this up you did pitch a fit and considering you're the defacto leader of the 50+ ers I figured that you'd start something - and you have. You immediatly went on the offensive, deflecting the conversation to younger drivers when that's not what the conversation was about to begin with.
    If you would have read the statement that I had made correctly it would have been clear to you that EVERYONE would have needed to take the test thus negating your rant.

    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    I read quite effectively, thank you, and I know what you said.

    Let's try to keep this on a positive note.
    I'd love to, but you have to acknowledge the problem of seniors driving past their ability, as a problem that should be dealt with like your comrades have. I especially acknowledge Robert Gardner's comments as they fall in direct line with the message I've been trying to project. Thank you Mr. Gardner for your comments the insight given was well taken.

    Have a Nice Day.
    Last edited by Raiyn; 06-12-07 at 05:42 PM.

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    Denver fox didn't say old folks are better drivers than young ones, but it is true.

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    I agree, age is not determinate of driving ability; however it can play a role. Young drivers are often dangerous and aggressive, without the experience to pull it off safely, while old drivers are often overconfident in their waning physical (visual/reaction time) abilities. But far and away, the most dangerous age group I've met on the road is the "soccer mom" group.

    Most drive minivans or SUVs. Both types of cars can, and frequently do, have large blindspots, are poor handling, and are high up. To make it worse, they are filled with kids, which are about the worst thing you can have in a car besides rabid komodo dragons or a tub full of molten rock. Add to that: fast food, DVD movies, and tight schedules and you have a recipe for disaster.

    Note: by "soccer moms" i mean that general age/economic class; I've seen about as many male soccer moms as I have female.

    I've been saved from certain death at the hands of these inattentive/uncaring ****ers about half a dozen times by nothing other than my quick reflexes, small car, and willingness to put my car in a ditch/in the grass rather than take a 45-55mph SUV in my driver's door/head-on. It's even scarier when I'm on my bike.

    People need to realize driving on public highways is a privilege and a responsibility, not a right or a sport.
    Hope you like reality.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member jukt's Avatar
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    I would say that as I get older, I have enough common sense to know when enough is enough.
    ___________________________________________________

    I know, as a 51 year old, it happened to me, also. Good luck.
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  22. #22
    Lone Rider
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    People may complain about older drivers. But I see more younger drivers(as well as middle age) on the road that have absolutely no common sense or respect for other drivers on the road. As an example just look at the one's doing the street racing. If you saw the segment on Dateline the other night you might have seen the mother of a street racer. She said she totally supported what he did and if he died he would have died doing what he loved. But what am I missing here? What about the other people that dies because of the stupidity of one person?

    So the moral of the story is don't single out the older drivers for poor driving. Every group does it.

  23. #23
    @ Checkmate Cycling jbhowat's Avatar
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    Not that its right, but I'm sure elderly drivers who are unfit to drive cause WAY MORE innocent deaths that street racers... Dateline and those shows blow everything out of proportion. The act like my generation invented street racing, but its been going on at least since people my grandpa's age were kids. Again, I don't encourage street racing, but done properly (most I've seen/heard of/been to) are not a huge danger to anyone but the driver. For example, in NY, there are people who make their living off of street racing (easily 300-500k dollars a year). These people race at about 2 in the morning and the highway is literally shut down by other racers. Its called the standing mile. There's no traffic and the cars can usually get close to 200mph. Again this is on a highway, there are no cars and no pedestrians, or houses, etc. Yes it is dangerous and no i don't think it is good or right, don't get me wrong - but Dateline type shows feature street racing every year and they always show some moron high school kids in Civics that aren't fast. They race using stoplights at night, there's almost always traffic, etc - real street racers look down on these idiots too.

    /Rant.
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  24. #24
    Sprockette wabbit's Avatar
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    I agree older drivers have certain impairments that should be monitored; reflexes, vision and hearing. Those should be tested regularly to make sure they are not a danger. If someone can't hear, then they are a menace to others. However, I also agree older drivers are not the only problem; but the difference is that stupid teenagers and cell-phone blabbers are exercising behaviors. Their impairments are self-made. Teenagers can learn better habits. However, you can't do much about aging reflexes,eyesight,etc.

    I remembered another story,some might remember- in Tampa, summer of 2003, a group of 20 out on a ride were mowed down. The motorist wasn't that old, in his late 60s, butwas diabetic and blacked out. Some of the people had broken collarbones, wrist, etc but some were really horribly injured. Like broken hips, one guy landed on his face and broke his jaw, one woman broke both her legs, etc. They said it was a miracle no one was killed or crippled for life. As for the driver, he went to court and voluntarily agreed to surrender his license. It was a total accident, but small comfort- some of those people were in rehab for months!
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  25. #25
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabbit
    I remembered another story,some might remember- in Tampa, summer of 2003, a group of 20 out on a ride were mowed down. The motorist wasn't that old, in his late 60s, butwas diabetic and blacked out. Some of the people had broken collarbones, wrist, etc but some were really horribly injured. Like broken hips, one guy landed on his face and broke his jaw, one woman broke both her legs, etc. They said it was a miracle no one was killed or crippled for life. As for the driver, he went to court and voluntarily agreed to surrender his license. It was a total accident, but small comfort- some of those people were in rehab for months!
    Actually the incident you refer to happened in St. Petersburg (other side of Tampa Bay) here's some articles. http://www.sptimes.com/2003/07/07/So...o_20_cyc.shtml
    http://www.sptimes.com/2003/07/08/So...e_crash_.shtml
    It was also discussed here in the Advocacy / Safety Forum

    13 Injured as Car Plows into Cyclists
    Cyclist hit by car in tampa, florida

    His license was revoked (as it should have been) but he wasn't charged criminally.

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