‘Out of my way, teens, here comes a grey!’: Seniors who put the pedal to the metal

Feb 05, 2023
This blogger believes seniors should drive wherever they want. Source: Getty

When I was living in another suburb, a neighbour of mine was advised to hang up her car keys. This was due to her eyesight impairment, she was never to drive her car again.

I must say this 80-something-year-old lady was undeterred, and I was in her corner. We all saw driving around as our senior right, it helps us live independently! And having our own wheels gives any woman a sense of empowerment.

Women of our age have probably only just learnt how to drive. Neither of my grandmothers ever had a single driving lesson. They either walked to the tram stop or the train station. 

Even my late mother-in-law, who migrated from overseas, was never encouraged to have driving lessons. She was also never allowed to purchase a car to drive to work, to the shops, or to join her faith community at the local church. In contrast, her husband and sons all had flash cars, but not her. No, she had to catch a series of buses, carting home string bags of shopping. 

Anyway, back in this side of town, my former neighbour decided that if she couldn’t use her car, she would find another way to get around. Days later a salesman arrived and demonstrated the functions and advantages of a superior electric scooter. It was top of the range, with a shopping basket, proudly flying an Australian flag. 

Off she zoomed, driving again! One slight glitch was that this older lady was a bit of lead foot and only drove her scooter at one speed, foot flat to the metal. Any teen or young one skateboarding on life’s footpath nearly got flattened. 

“Out of my way, teens, here comes a grey!” she would yell. 

However, one drawback to her happy scootering was the state of the council footpaths. They were so bumpy that one day while zooming on the pathway, she overturned! My old friend lay gazing at the sky until a kindly Samaritan picked up my pal and her ride.

Then on her way, she varoomed, to buy–of all things–more cigarettes. 

My old friend was an inspiration to us all seniors. Nothing held her back. She kept her wheels to a ripe old age, lucid and mobile.

This is a question for us boomers, staring at our future unfolding day by day. We too shall reach that certain age, so I think I shall probably buy a scooter too. It may never happen, but it is good to consider our mobility as seniors. 

My late stepfather drove a car until he was well into his nineties, But he woke up one morning with macular degeneration in one eye. His eye had gone blind, so enter the electric scooter, which he drove around his retirement village. 

These things can happen, we never know what health holds for any of us, especially for the greys. Electric scooters for independent mobility come in a variety of prices and features. However, these are questions to consider: What is the state of the footpaths in your neighbourhood? Would you be game-enough to drive an electric mobility scooter on the roads? Some motorists are not too tolerant. 

The ageing or disabled can buy a three or four-wheeler, I have even seen a fully enclosed one, for rainy days. Insurance is something to consider, to offset that petrol is no longer necessary. 

An electric mobility scooter is an option for any of us, but it might not suit all of us.

To drive, or not to drive? That is a good question…

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