I REFER to the incident in which grandmother Chan Tee Neo, 80, was left with a swollen eye, bleeding nose and hand abrasion from a minor car accident in Melaka recently.
Chan claims the other driver, a man in his 30s, had hit her car, but turned aggressive and assaulted her.
She also alleges that the other driver had the audacity to hit her outside the Banda Hilir police station after a verbal spat before dragging her inside.
Her son, Robert Lim, is quoted as saying his mother is an independent woman and despite her age, she drives and manages the family’s business.
I have some observations about this. It’s wrong for a man to assault a woman, no matter what the circumstances or provocation.
It’s wrong for a man in his 30s to hit a woman old enough to be his grandmother.
If it’s true that he hit her and dragged her into the station, why was there no action from the police?
Also, is it safe for an 80-year-old to drive alone?
My concern here is the safety of the elderly driver and other motorists.
As far as I am aware, there is no law that prohibits a person from driving when he or she reaches a certain age.
Some motor insurance companies impose a driver’s age limit of 65 years, with an excess rider of between RM1,000 and RM3,000 for accident damage.
Some car rental companies have a cut-off age of 65.
Common sense dictates that certain criteria have to be met.
The first factor should be eyesight.
A normal person should be able to see a minimum distance of 23m.
The second factor is hearing.
To drive safely, drivers should be able to hear vehicles approaching, police sirens, ambulances, and cars honking.
The third criterion is reflexes.
Again, regardless of age, good reflexes, especially of the arms and legs, is important.
Finally, those who wish to drive should be able to remember roads and places.
They should not pose problems to other motorists. If drivers can take all these in their stride, there is no reason to quit driving.
My recommendation is that drivers above 65 be required to undergo a medical test to determine their driving fitness every six months.
This will ensure peace of mind for themselves, their loved ones and other road users.
Founder, Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch Theft (Marah)