Black Friday and holiday shopping are right around the corner, it’s approaching that time of year when the stress of gift buying and annoying crowds makes its presence felt. Yet Western New Yorkers have a much more serious concern on their hands. The epidemic of geriatric Kamikaze missions has swept over the area and locals are frightened and confused …much like the individuals behind the wheel of these accidents.

For the 9th time over the past month and whopping 15 times since August a driver has crashed their automobile into a local building, sometimes escaping harm or major damage but sadly also sometimes ending tragically. From a very young age we are taught our left from our right and to always look both ways before crossing the street, but there is no one there to remind us that the brake pedal is on the left when it’s time for us to step into big boy diapers.

Currently in New York State passing an eye exam before acquiring your driver’s license is required but retesting of sight and more importantly –competency to operate an automobile after reaching a certain age, is not. It is a tad alarming that after passing a test many decades earlier there are zero policies put into place to assure that senior drivers are capable of making split second decisions that affect lives while behind the wheel. Locals have been looking over their shoulders lately while entering stores, not knowing if a human missile fueled by Matlock reruns and decaf Sanka is barreling towards them. This theme of this article is not geared towards ageism, just common sense. Instead of requiring all stores to install a moat full of packing peanuts in front of their buildings I would probably suggest a mandatory drivers exam upon reaching 70 years of age then every 5 years after.Driving is a privilege and being able to prove you can still do so safely seems like a pretty reasonable request.

To tell you the honest truth I am not even sure what a “drivers test” actually entailed back when our grandparents were buying each other tiny bottles of Coca Cola and furiously necking to Roy Orbison at make out point. In my own warped imagination I envision both driver and tester smoking Lucky Strikes while taking a relaxing cruise around town in a gigantic turquoise convertible. Brooks was right to be shocked about how much of a damn hurry everyone was in after he was released from Shawshank prison. That is life. Everything gets faster and more stressful, that seems to be the trend. As terrorism, global warming and a failing economy bear a heavy burden on all of us the last thing we should feeling anxiety about is being mowed down by Betty White while trying to grab a burrito.