I often read “60 Starts at 60” because of its well-written articles raising issues of concern to the elderly.
This is a link to one article that has just recently arrested my attention:
It reports on a UK motor vehicle accident that has sparked an international call for elderly drivers to be taken off the roads.
The campaign to kick older drivers off the road has gone international after an 84-year-old woman was found guilty of causing an accident that forced a loving husband to run over and kill his wife.
Vanessa McAloon, 48, was riding her motorcycle in the oncoming lane, with her 52-year-old husband, Jim, on a separate motorcycle behind her. Vanessa was forced to slam her breaks to avoid being hit by Williams’ Vauxhall Corsa and was thrown from her bike. Jim, who was seconds behind her on his own motorcycle, accidentally struck his wife when he came around the bend.
Vanessa died of her injuries, and the incident was made even more tragic by the fact the couple were on a ride to celebrate her final round of chemotherapy to beat cancer.
Yet even from the limited details given in the article, I think it may be unfair to attribute all the blame for this tragic accident to 84 year old Jean Williams. We do not know for example whether the tractor driver was driving his slow-moving farm vehicle as far to the left as possible. It might have been prudent for there to have been an accompanying vehicle to have warned other drivers of its presence, if it was excessively large, and intruding well onto the road.
One cannot help but wonder at the advisability of a 48 year old cancer sufferer recovering from chemotherapy, riding a motor-cycle that she proved unable to control when faced with the unexpected. Tragically it was her 52 year old husband, not the elderly car driver, who hit her, killing her. Might he have been travelling too closely behind to not have been able to avoid the collision? Motor-cyclists are all too exposed and vulnerable in accidents, and the skills of middle-aged riders might be questioned. .
I’m sure that there are many elderly drivers whose driving skills are so much not what they were, that we fear to ride with them at the wheel. How we wish they would relinquish their driver licences, yet they stubbornly refuse! But do we need to set an arbitrary age at which they are no longer allowed to drive for the safety of others?
It is said that the devil is always in the detail, which we just do not know, to be able to fairly apportion blame in this case. It follows therefore, that we should pause and consider before always blaming the elderly for the accidents in which they are involved.
This weekend millions are remembering Jesus Christ’s humiliating and cruel crucifixion death at 33; and most Christians believe, His resurrection just three days later.
In the previous three years he had taught and demonstrated a way of life based not on self-interest and retaliation for wrongs, but on love and respect for, and forgiveness of others, even our opponents.
It has been said, His philosophy as illustrated by His patient endurance of adversity in the face of death, has not been “tried and found wanting”, but “found difficult and not tried”.
Human nature is determinedly egocentric. We tend to be also driven by tribal instincts based on our race, class and religion rather than by our consciences. The slogan is an “eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. Unfortunately, a chain of pay-backs may ensue, resulting in an avalanche of human suffering.
Our systems of law and order are ideally based on appropriate and proportional punishment for wrong-doing, but justice is only served when fault is impartially assessed, and fairly administered. Sadly this is not always the case. Verdicts may reflect the biased perceptions of ruling majorities, and their vested interests. Worse still is judgment by kangaroo court. or personal revenge summarily executed.
The global slaughter of the two 20th century wars has now given place in the unfolding 21st century by isolated acts of random terrorism. It is a war waged by those who are willing to sacrifice their own lives for revenge against those they think, or have been brain-washed to think, are their oppressors and untouchable by conventional means.
I would hope that the Easter message of love and mercy might be remembered by us all in these times of tension and hatred.
The Adventist Vocal Ensemble conducted by Ken Burton appeared in a Hymns of Praise episode featuring negro spirituals on 20/05/2012.
God & Man“For those suffering from depression, the world has fallen apart every day and is put back together the next day.” – Emily Casalena How is a depressed person supposed to act? Who is a depressed person? If you ask the movies, most of them might say a person with depression is an introverted,…
via How Is A Depressed Person Supposed To Behave? — Thought Catalog
“These things I have spoken Unto you, that in me ye might have peace”. John 16:33
Today, may we take a little time to ponder, and emulate, His formula for peace on Earth to All.
Photographic credit: Bow Thompson