Ottawa - Plans to test more elderly drivers to determine if they are capable and safe to be on Ontario roads has put hundreds of cats in the driver’s seat. Stricter testing of senior drivers has left a lot of the elderly without a licence, but still maintaining a vehicle. “A lot of these elderly drivers depend on a car to get around in life, and now a lot of cats are taking the wheel for them, which I think is even more dangerous.” Minister of Transportation Belinda Chesterland exclaimed after she was questioned about the rise in cat drivers at a press conference Tuesday. “I know some older drivers may need a refresher course on how to drive, but I do believe they are a safer alternative to the possible cat drivers.”
Increased testing and revoking driver’s licences of those that fail a safe driving test is raising concern among the elderly population in the province, some who have been driving for more than 80 years. “If they take away my licence, they can’t take away my car, and that means Trixie will be driving me around town.” remarked Herb Portolli, an 89 year old driver who is upset at the strict plan to test older drivers. “I mean I might not stop at all the lights, but I do when I see them, so I don’t think its fair.” Portolli explained. “Trixie is a smart cat, and if I can’t drive, she will, and she is already pretty damn good at parallel parking.”
Mandatory testing of drivers over the age of 75 comes after a comprehensive study showed more than 34% of automobile accidents involve drivers over the age of 70. "We need to curb this disturbing trend, and mandatory driver testing is one way we can keep Ontario’s roads safe.” Chesterland replied.
A 95 year old woman whose licence was suspended after being involved in 27 accidents in 3 months and was recently arrested in Brampton, On after she placed her pet cat behind the wheel and forced the cat to drive her to a doctor’s appointment. The senior citizen says she did not want to sell her car and trusted her cat, Patsy, could handle the traffic. “She’s good on her feet and I help her with the signals, so I don’t know what the problem is.”