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Alma Middleton, 82, has her eyes checked during "55 Alive," a driving clinic for elderly motorists in Dothan, Ala.

Q Something tells me I will not be the only person to respond to your recent column about elderly drivers.

Jane Vivian

San Jose

A Goodness, no. A woman named Laura Torgeson railed about drivers living in the Rossmoor retirement community in the Walnut Creek area, setting off a flood of comments.

Q At 86, I am one of those elderly drivers. I value my independence; that requires my being able to do my own errands and shopping and taking myself to appointments. I also enjoy a variety of activities: a tai chi class at the local Community Center, singing in the church choir and visiting shut-ins. I'm part of a group that sews toys for children in hospitals and gathers gift items for veterans. To do all these things, I must drive myself or depend on friends, most of whom are also elderly.

I have taken the AARP senior driver course and I believe I am a safe driver. I hope I will have the good judgment to give up my license before I become a menace on the roads.

Just a reminder to Laura and others like her: You're going to be elderly sometime yourself, and you also will value your independence. Perhaps you could develop some patience and compassion for gray-haired drivers who "stray outside the borders" of their retirement community. Perhaps you could offer to do errands for them, or invite them to lunch.

Jane Vivian

A Jane, I admire your zest for living. When I'm more mobile again, I would love to take you to lunch.

Q I read with interest your column focused on reporting poor senior drivers to authorities anonymously. While I agree many seniors may no longer be the safe drivers they once were, what about all the other dangerous drivers out there?

Where can I report the young mother with kids in the car texting while weaving down the highway in the fast lane? Where can I report the young driver barreling through traffic at over 90 mph with little regard for safety? Where can I report the young men and women driving 50 mph through a school zone? Where can I report the men and women of all ages who don't understand the rules of the road and force them to get retested?

Wayne Giroux

Morgan Hill

A Now back to Rossmoor.

Q I'd like to weigh in on the great debate about Rossmoor drivers. Actually there really is no debate. Rossmoor drivers are terrible compared to those outside the compound.

I should know. I'm a male Rossmoor resident. I don't consider myself one of the bad drivers. I drive just as well as I did when I was younger. I have a theory on the underlying reason for our poor driving performance. The average age of residents in Rossmoor is 78 and are predominantly older women because their husbands died and left them single. When they were alive, the men generally elected to do all or most of the driving. So when their wives had to take the wheel, they had little driving experience.

This is not to say that only older women are the culprits. We doddering old men do our share, but it's to let you know that it's not just old age that's the problem. My advice to drivers near Rossmoor: Get a bigger car!!

Syl Winocur

Walnut Creek

A OK.

Q Laura Torgeson is spot on when she says that some people in Rossmoor are dangerous drivers. For them, driving through a stop sign at 25 mph is the way they roll.

Kevin Kelly

A Everyone, be careful out there.

 

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