Market Crash - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

7.17.03

Market Crash

The tragedy in Santa Monica, California where an elderly man plowed through a crowded farmer's market late Wednesday has brought a lot of attention to the often sensitive topic of the 35-million elderly drivers in this country.

As the death toll rose to ten, officials cleaned up the Santa Monica Avenue where an elderly motorist mowed down crowds at a farmers' market. The driver, 86-year-old Russell Weller, has not been charged with any crimes, but he does have a history of accidents.

Ten years ago he ran his car, the same one he was driving Wednesday over a wall at a friend's party. Police say Weller also crashed into his own garage a couple of times. Then Wednesday's carnage, raising new questions about old age and driving.

While teens remain the most dangerous drivers across the country, doctors and police say they are seeing more and more accidents involving older motorists. This as the population ages more and more people hold onto their drivers' licenses longer.

In some places this has resulted in new license regulations for the elderly. Seventeen states now require older drivers to renew their licenses in person, to renew them more frequently or to pass driving and vision tests, But states are also hearing from older drivers who say they do not want their independence taken away.

Powered by Frankly