Seniors Equate Mobility with Life

"Carjacked" author Anne Lutz Fernandez says Time's tearful coverage of the traffic deaths of a 72-year-married Iowa couple fails to recognize the true problem: that Americans are persuaded that driving = living.
October 26, 2011, 8am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"Have you cried at your desk at work yet today? Would you like to?" Time Magazine asked last week, inviting its readers to indulge in emotion on behalf of an Iowa couple whose story went viral last week."

The driver had failed to yield at an intersection, sending another vehicle's 64-year-old driver and his wife to the hospital - she in critical condition.

Fernandez provides links to many references showing the propensity of seniors to be injured or killed in traffic crashes, and the difficulties in getting them to voluntarily stop driving.

"It would be better to focus not on the means - driving the car - but the motive, which is maintaining the mobility that a landscape built around personal vehicles will inevitably deny the aged.

Because driving and cars are bound up with cultural values, emotion rules. The act of getting a driver's license is infused with the headiness of freedom and individualism, making the denial of one seem to be a loss of these fiercely held ideals. Licensing has been made a rite of passage, making un-licensing nearly a death rite."

Thanks to Streetsblog New York City

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Published on Monday, October 24, 2011 in Streetsblog Capitol Hill
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