Retake Your Road Test

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Mother’s Day is a day for thanking moms for the superheroes that they are. And while that should be every day, moms get that one special day for themselves, and even then they are selfless.

I always read the paper and tune into the news on holidays with bated breath, waiting for both the miracle story of joy and its horrible counterpart, death. I am fully aware of how negative and cynical this sounds, but it seems I am always right.

This past Mother’s Day was tragic for one family, when an 80-year-old woman put her car into reverse instead of drive and ploughed down a street in Lindenhurst, killed a mother who was walking with her daughter. According to reports, Diane Aluska, 55, and her 16-year-old daughter, Jenna had just attended a mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church and were walking down South Wellwood Avenue at 9:15 a.m. Aluska saw the car coming and shoved her daughter out of harm’s way, sacrificing her own life in the process. What should have been a start to a beautiful day with her mother has now turned into one holiday that the teen will forever have painful memories of.

We like to blame new drivers and teens behind the wheel as they are so involved in technology, when in reality, they are the ones who are scared straight by torturous videos, speaking engagements and heartbreaking stories of real life situations of what can happen when you text and drive or are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Some teens choose to continue keeping one hand on the wheel and the other on their device thanks to Facebook Live videos, Twitter, Instagram and the worst culprit, Snapchat. But it is also the older generation of Baby Boomers that need a reprimanding slap on the wrist. In my opinion, that comes in the form of another road test.

Vehicle fatalities caused by elderly people could be greatly reduced if the law mandated them to take another road test at the age of 70-75. If not a law, then the AARP offers a Smart Driver safety course, a class that should be mandatory when a driver reaches the age of 70. Although humans are living longer, that does not mean that motor skills and brain function as well as attention span is as sharp as it once was. It’s not enough to drop a hint to grandma that she really shouldn’t be driving anymore or to feel bad that you are taking away grandpa’s independence if you take away his keys. There’s nothing wrong with a little old age tune up.

Driving is a privilege and it is nonsensical to think that one’s driving abilities do not change between the age of 16 to 80.

—Jennifer Fauci

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Jennifer Fauci is the managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Boulevard and Anton Media Group’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of three PCLI awards.

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