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Older drivers an unfair target

Friday, 8th January, 2016

Local resident and member of the Broken Hill Pensioners Association, Anne Bloomfield, was insulted by a claim this week that drivers aged over 70 should stay off the roads. Local resident and member of the Broken Hill Pensioners Association, Anne Bloomfield, was insulted by a claim this week that drivers aged over 70 should stay off the roads.

By Erica Visser

The Broken Hill Pensioners Association has labelled a call to limit older drivers as “absolutely ridiculous”. 

It joins seniors groups across the state that this week slammed the “incomprehensible” claim by a senior NSW police officer that people aged over 70 should not drive. 

President of the Pensioners Association, Tex Morton, said it was unfair to “tar older people with the same brush”.

Fellow member and Meals on Wheels President, Lillian Cox, said older people were being unfairly targeted.

“You never see an older driver cruising around with a mobile in their hand,” she said.

“Older drivers are experienced drivers. It’s absolutely ridiculous. You can’t rely on public transport here.”

Ms Cox said that organisations like Meals on Wheels would suffer if a ban on older drivers was enforced.

“If we didn’t have older drivers volunteering we wouldn’t have any drivers,” she said.

Anne Bloomfield, also an association member, said she found the claims “offensive”.

“I was insulted ... I’d be lost without my car.”

NSW Police head of traffic, John Hartley, on Wednesday said he wants older drivers to stay off the road after a spike in the number of seniors killed in traffic accidents.

But Combined Pensioners and Superannuant Association policy officer Paul Versteege told AAP that was a form of age discrimination against older drivers who already face “draconian” safety measures, including medical and licence testing. -AAP/BDT

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