I was driving home from the shops on Saturday, and something occurred to me. Senior drivers should be made to display “S” plates on their cars.

Now before I attract the ire of the elderly community, allow me to expatiate ;{o

I was driving down Warrigal Road, which has a turning lane (dual) onto North Road. I was in the right most lane, and on my left was a P plater in a sedan. In front of me was an elderly couple in an older model Jaguar. Now, ole’ Miss was in the captains seat, and had a ciggie lit and was bellowing smoke out of the drivers side window as if she was getting ready to leave port. Pops was chilling out in the passenger seat, with the seat reclined further back than Habib does in his Gemini during a Saturday night ‘Chap Lap’. So the lights turn green, and all of us start to turn. Now, the car on the immediate left of Ma and Pa was quick off the mark, and disappeared down North Road quite quickly, so the P plater on my left decided to follow suit. As he tuned into his lane on North Road, ole’ Miss decides the turning arc was too aggressive, and takes the turn out like the hem of her Sunday dress; which causes the P plater to hit the brakes, then his horn, and then to start hurling abuse thicker than my best attempts at Ice Tea!

Ole’ Miss is too busy with her extended turning arc and her quickly shrinking Winnie Blue to be concerned about the P plater who is at this stage almost on the pavement, and continues on her merry way. I decide I should ease off the accelerator too, after observing ole’ Miss’ lazy lane switching action, and just in time I might add, as she decides my lane is now looking pretty cosy, and just switches straight into my lane, dispensing the need of her indicator (fair enough I suppose, it’s not like you need that on a weekend cruise!).

Now, don’t get me wrong (I find myself writing that little disclaimer quite a bit these days ;)), I’m not insinuating that seniors should not be driving, or that they should be refused licenses, not at all. Yes they do impose a slightly higher level of awareness on other drivers, as do Learner drivers, and Probationary drivers, which is why they must display a yellow L plate or red P plate respectively. It’s so you can identify them immediately, and adjust your driving style to accommodate their indiscretions. I reckon it’s a good idea that senior drivers should have an S plate, something regal and appropriate, maybe a nice lavender or mauve S plate.

I would hate if senior drivers lost their independence, so I don’t want to ban them off our roads (yes, you Today Tonight, 5th from top!!!) but I also think it’s better for them and everyone else if you could identify them. Again, it’s just the same principal for L platers and P platers.

In fact, I don’t think it’s a bad idea for us to introduce a few more “plates” into the system, for example, if you have a bad habit of knocking off a slab before you drive, you should be required by law to display a big Hi-Vis plate with an appropriate logo on your rear windshield (maybe an empty beer can superimposed with the skull and cross bones). Or if you like to reverse park without looking behind you, then you should have a reverse parking beeper fitted to your car.

The possibilities are endless!