Jonathan Richie BW.tif

My Buick was almost destroyed by a distracted driver last week.

Driving is dangerous and demands practice, precision and patience.

We were all taught in driver’s education classes that driving was a privilege and not a right.

Our instructor would often throw that phrase in our faces when we would get a question wrong in the classroom.

We did not watch a week straight of movies of cars smashing into each other, cars starting on fire or cars going off cliffs. I think that’s too bad, because I’ve heard great things about “Death on the Highway.”

Instead, we studied maintaining speed, switching lanes, and the importance of seat belts - vital information but not the good stuff. That kind of stuff will get your license taken away.

There are many ways drivers can lose their license; driving recklessly, leaving the scene of an accident or driving under the influences. Those are just a few.

I think there should be two more ways for folks to lose their license - refusing driving tests for older drivers and stricter punishments for those texting while driving.

I have had a few close calls on the road recently and it got me thinking – if we have a test for older drivers to maintain safety on the streets, it would be beneficial to everyone on the road.

Remember: driving is a privilege, not a right.

I am often driving on Highway 70 when some other driver decides to pull out in front of me. They’re going somewhere between 20 and 30 mph by the time I get to them. That’s an accident waiting to happen. We are supposed to drive for the conditions, not however we like. If you want to go 30 mph on a 55 mph road enter the roadway when no one is around.

It is incredibly dangerous when people take their sweet time pulling out of a parking lot or driveway onto a 55 mph road.

I’m not flying down the highway at 80 mph, but the person entering the highway does not dictate the speed of the roadway.

So, I’m suggesting that everyone over the age of 65 must take another driver’s test. And it’s not the same test they took when they were 16.

This will, hopefully, do two things that will be beneficial to society. First, it would get unqualified drivers off the road. Remember, if you’re a good driver, you have nothing to worry about; I know that phrase is loaded but follow me for a minute.

Second, it would force public transportation to step up their game and provide more options in parts of the country that aren’t just cities.

I understand that it isn’t just older people that are bad drivers. But a driver’s license shouldn’t be like a supreme court appointment, lifelong with no checks and balances.

Also, I’m in favor of taking licenses away for people who have texting while driving tickets. This country needs to admit that phones are societies’ new addiction.

If you cannot drive or put your phone down, you are a hazard to others and should not be allowed behind the wheel.

In reality, this will never happen, but it would be nice if we could all feel safe on the road and not have to worry about somebody taking five minutes to speed up entering a highway because they think I need to go their speed as they enter the highway.

So, help me out. Please, please don’t pull out on the highway without punching the accelerator and put down the phone while driving.