A pedestrian accident in Chicago, Illinois occurred when an 87 year old driver lost control of his car, ran a red light, struck and killed three people. The auto accident occurred at the intersection of North Avenue and Kimball. Alicia Coria, 27, and two of her sons, Ivan Castro (age 8) and Diego Castro (age 10), were killed by a vehicle that struck them as they were crossing the street in a crosswalk .
Her son Christopher (age 12), survived the accident and so did the driver of the vehicle, George Miller, age 87, of Chicago, Illinois. Miller was ticketed by the Chicago Police Department for failing to stop at a traffic signal, driving left of center, striking a pedestrian in a crosswalk, and having no insurance. Chicago Police are still trying to determine what caused Miller to lose control of his car.
It is likely that the accident could create some debate about elderly drivers. NBC Nightly News has reported that drivers age 70 and older have the second highest rate of traffic fatalities of all age groups, a rate of approximately 25 deaths per 100,000 population. The only higher risk group is teenagers.
However, Illinois has the nation’s toughest license renewal laws for elderly drivers. Drivers ages 75 and over have to take a road test every time they renew their drivers license. Drivers ages 81-86 have to renew with a road test every 2 years, and drivers 87 and over have to renew their license with a road test every year.
In this case, George Miller is 87 years old and news reports indicate he had a valid Illinois driver’s license. This means he presumably past recent road tests administered by the Illinois Secretary of State.
The system is not perfect, but the only other option would be to revoke drivers licenses at a certain age cut off. However, an age limit would be very unfair, as we would be arbitrarily taking away drivers licenses from people who are still fit and able to drive. For example, my grandfather-in-law turns 90 this year, he is still a good driver, and he just bought a new car.
Finally, if you are going to revoke the drivers licenses of the elderly, don’t you first have to raise the minumum driving age to 20? After all, statisically teenagers are still the most dangerous group of drivers.