Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Isn’t This A Little Out Of Your Remit, Reverend?

“There is a lot of needless slaughter going on.”
So says Canvey Island Reverend Brenda Gutberlet.

Is she talking about the slaughter of Christians in Muslim lands? The slaughter of one type of Muslims by other types of Muslims, perhaps?

Even the slaughter of whole species of animals? No. 

No, this is something a little bit more…secular, shall we say?
She has been fighting for an update to the Road Traffic Act 1988 since losing her niece in a crash nearly nine years ago.
Bride-to-be Natalie Wade, 28, from Rochford, was out shopping for her wedding dress when a 78-year-old motorist with partial blindness drove through a red light and ploughed into her on a pedestrian crossing. She died in hospital five days later, on Valentine’s Day 2006.
Her family want the DVLA’s “honesty declaration”, which allows drivers over 70 to self-certify their fitness to drive, to be abolished. It also puts the onus on motorists with eyesight problems and epilepsy to own up to the DVLA about their condition.
Errr, right. OK…
Rev Gutberlet, the former vicar of Canvey Methodist Church, said: “As a family, we feel very strongly about this.
“From the age of 40 our eyesight starts to deteriorate, and by 60 most people are wearing spectacles.
Being able to drive is a privilege, not a right, and we can’t see why it’s not possible for the Government to make changes to the law. We understand money is tight and we’re realistic we’re not going to get everything we want.
“We’re looking at simple changes. For example, in America, anyone who has been told they need to wear spectacles when driving has an icon on their driving licence, so police are aware of this if they stop them. ”
Which wouldn’t really have prevented the accident that killed your niece, would it?

Still, I suppose it’s better than simply saying ‘it’s God’s will’…

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Instead of having a GP or vicar certify your fitness to drive on attaining the age of 70 (usually after they have fisted a handful of fivers), another driving test, including an updated eyesight test which includes peripheral vision, seems reasonable. Unfortunately, such decisions are left to politicians and we all know how wise and far seeing (pun intended) they are.
Penseivat

Lord T said...

I wonder how much needful slaughter takes place each year. It'd be nice to have to figures to compare.

In my experience people who have lost someone need to do something about it. Some turn to drink, others revenge, others campaign.

However I wonder. As a reverend she must think she has gone to a better place. So why is she still going on about it. It's almost as if she has a crisis of faith.

Bucko The Moose said...

'A privilage not a right'.

*Pours a large whiskey*

Anonymous said...

If you prevent old people from driving there might be a problem -for them getting food, seeing GP etc.
Pulblic transport is tricky to use especially when carrying bags of food etc.It is so easy to fall.
All those young men who die or kill with cars shows how effective the driving test is.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 00.24,
My late aunt gave up driving after an eye operation and had to sell her car. She used this money, plus that saved from not having to pay for petrol, car tax, servicing, insurance and MOTs, to book local taxis. The added benefit was that she didn't have parking problems in a yellow line infested town with little public parking (subsidised parking for local authority employees taking precedence). The local firm opened an account for her and she used them so often her fares were discounted. It's not suitable for everyone but when it is time to hand in your driving licence, life need not go into stasis.
Penseivat

JuliaM said...

"...another driving test, including an updated eyesight test which includes peripheral vision, seems reasonable."

Maybe, but also seems like a bit of a waste of time & effort.

A lot more traffic cops empowered to do spot checks would be better.

"In my experience people who have lost someone need to do something about it. "

That, given free reign as it is today, is a recipe for utter disaster.

"If you prevent old people from driving there might be a problem -for them getting food, seeing GP etc. "

Solve one problem, create another! And govt money is always flowing to 'fix' it...

" It's not suitable for everyone but when it is time to hand in your driving licence, life need not go into stasis."

No, it needn't. But giving up a car is often a personal wrench because it is, to a lot of people, giving up your independence.