The driver-license test for Seniors while spying through fingers.

 Forgot the mirror image when printed. (Black square)

Forgot the mirror image when printed. (Black square)

When the letter was received to go through a medical test for renewal of my driver’s license, I got up, and immediately searched the eye test charts. Did you know that this chart was an invention of the Dutch ophthalmologist Herman Snellen in 1862?

I thought I could perhaps move things along a bit in my favour by remembering the third bottom line of letters. Apparently, having read up about it, the test usually insist on adequate vision in order to maintain the driver’s license for those over seventy five. Last year I passed with flying colours. I did spy through my good eye that required third line of letters. I had a nice nurse who kept looking at the chart instead of my hand with fingers slightly ajar.

Some years back I had a vitrectomy done on my right eye to try and straighten out my macula. There was good vision in that eye but it did seem to have a slight curve on the horizontal plane of vision. Now the curve is straight but the vision pretty crook. I should not have gone in for this operation. Helvi is forever pointing out not to dwell on what is past. It is a habit of mine. Even so, I was heartened by a recent ABC TV program that pointed out that business and health make bad bedfellows. It had doctors even agreeing that the medical profession in Australia is getting more like the US system. More and more groups of medical professionals are forming Market listed empires which employ people with MBA degrees instead of caring doctors.

My operation was certainly a nice little earner for all involved and I coughed up more money than for a six week’s luxury stay in Bali. I even had an overnight stay in a luxurious private hospital with nice smouldering coal-dark eyed nurses waking me up every few hours and gazing tenderly into my eye. Above my bed I had suspended a computer on which, after I lowered it to my good eye level, I could order a bewildering variety of luscious snacks and even complete meals. From memory I had a lovely Angus-cow eye fillet with mashed potato and kale for lunch.

However, scanning the eye charts, I noticed there are many different ones. The top letter is usually an E, but the rest could be anything. I thought of visiting the medical centre under some pretext and study their eye-charts, but each doctor might well have a different one hung on the wall usually opposite a mirror for creating the required six metre distance. The medical centre is a warren of offices. I could study just one and than insist on that particular office. It could arouse suspicion.

My attitude about the whole thing is a bit sus anyway. Surely, safety is what should dominate. However, that is supposing a moral forbearance or aptitude, a straightness of character and responsible citizenship, that is perhaps somewhat lacking. Helvi often tells me there is something sneaky in my mind’s eye. A kind of slyness and cunning.

However, and this is what I tell myself in this eye-chart conundrum. I have never been involved in a car accident. I have never claimed damages on my car. One reason I do not have car insurance. ( apart from the obligatory third party one.) Twice I have been booked by a camera of speeding but both were in a low range. I am a very safe driver.(lots of I’s here.)

So, I have asked Helvi if I should wear a solid ring on my left hand so that scanning the eye-chart my ring-finger will be somewhat ajar without any deliberate input by me. This will give me a chance to enhance my ability to read the third line from the bottom of the Snellen chart.

It is the best I can come up with.
What do you reckon?

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24 Responses to “The driver-license test for Seniors while spying through fingers.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    This is fraught with moral, ethical, economical and all sorts of “-al” aspects, Gerard, and I’m not getting into the fray!

    I don’t think we have to do this in Victoria, at least I haven’t had a letter from the gubbermint yet. They don’t do the over 75 years of age “are you still compos mentis” examinations, either. Phew, I can stop practising folding a paper in half and putting it on the floor, and spelling “world” backwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I thought the RTA would have the same rules in all States. I will get my license renewed in a week or so. There are other considerations investigated on the form as well. Likelihood of fainting spells, dizziness, falling asleep, alcohol, depression and anxiety. Yet, old people have better driving records than young.
      Over eighty-five you have to go for driving tests and could also just get a limited license, restricting the drive to local shops, cemetery or local funeral directors and coffin makers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres Says:

    Well, since I’m feeling just a bit impish tonight, I decided to share with you my favorite eye chart. I suppose it isn’t hanging on any eye doctor’s wall, except as a joke, but I laugh every time I look at it. I confess there is one line I can read perfectly well, without having any idea what the letters stand for. The rest is fairly straightforward.🙂

    i’ve had plenty of experience with auto insurance, and have had two cars totaled — but I wasn’t at fault in either instance. In fact, when I lost my second Toyota, it was T-boned in my parking lot at 2 a.m. by a drunk, while I was sound asleep. Believe me, it was a bit of a shock to find my neighbor at the door at that hour, saying, “I think you need to come down to the parking lot.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Good chart, Linda.😉 It’s a bit of a shock that there are limits to being able to continue on with what one has taken for granted. I am still all there, and only yesterday bought a bicycle again. I could just carry a rucksack and do the shopping by bike.
      I tried it out today. It is freezing here with snow down to five hundred metres.

      Did the drunk get caught? I never thought of that. I should just get a third party property insurance. At least I am covered in case I bang into a Roll’s Royce or Ferrari. I like your expression of a Toyota car getting ‘totalled.’ I don’t think that verb existed twenty years ago. People also say; I am so ‘totally’ over this or that.

      Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Of course, a car getting T-boned is also a good way of expressing, and so descriptive.

      Like

  3. lifecameos Says:

    We have had a heart pace maker inserted on one family member at the usual high cost in our small city. When he was checked by a real specialist in a much large city he was told it should not be there, and it was removed…. Whatever …

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, that happens when the medical industry focusses on the final figure. Here the medical world is getting a hammering from those that say and ask, why Australia is so high in knee and hip transplants, and all sorts of medications? Some medication is available over the counter here that one could never get in many European countries, except by prescription from a doctor.
      We will be lucky to get there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Brexit. It’s real | roughseasinthemed Says:

    […] or even two in Fuengirola, but they aren’t in the middle class arty farty league. Thanks to Gerard for the link to that amazingly patronising […]

    I could not find the link but here it is again;http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/aa-gill-argues-the-case-against-brexit-kmnp83zrt

    I still think the Brexit is a result of a division between the poor and the rich, something that the European markets are better at even out than the isolation and rampant old fashioned, inward looking, flag waving nationalism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, I was for staying. I like the cosiness of togetherness. Mind you, Britain was never enthusiastic in joining Europe. I feel they have always felt that Europe was just a kind of place where people spoke in funny languages, enjoyed sex and garlic, and were overly keen on comfort and warmth.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    I wish we would have this law here in the U.S. One of my neighbors is 94 years old and he is still driving. We all get out of his way when we see him coming. Trashcans aren’t safe and neither are cars. He goes out for lunch and dinner every day and we all fear the worst. He shouldn’t be allowed to drive anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Well, perhaps you could sandbag your house so the ninety-four year old could do as many MacGoos as possible. My dad’s driving was so erratic he was followed home by a driver so enraged, he asked my dad to ‘put them up’ and, fight ‘like a man.’

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lottie Nevin Says:

    Beyond any shadow of doubt, I now know that I seriously need specs. I read it as ‘Some years back I had a vasectomy done on my right eye…’

    I think your solid ring idea is genius. Good Luck with the test🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Knowing how those over the age of 75 peek through their fingers at the eye chart, I will never trust anyone over that age behind the wheel. Those charts try to outfox us by printing them smaller and smaller. I’m glad I chose to discontinue my license. Plus no written test to study for. Just sit and enjoy the scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The charts are all different, although they still have the same chart that nurse uses in the examination room where I will be examined. I hopefully will be able to quickly scan and remember the bottom third line of letters while being asked to sit down. In which case I won’t have to cheat!😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Patti Küche Says:

    Will wait for the next installment . . . !

    Liked by 1 person

  9. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Can’t you wear glasses to read eye charts? That is what is done here. Your photo is taken without your glasses and then you put glasses back on and read the dang chart. If wearing glasses it is indicated on the driver’s license.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Big M Says:

    The Oosterman Treats is an oasis in a sea of internet dross. I agree, there are very safe drivers in the over 70s, and some that should resign themselves to cabs and hire cars.

    My Dad is 82, and facing the same checks for driving and assessments for dementia. He is demure for the drivers assessment by tells the nurse to stop trying to trick him into f#*+ ing dementia. It’s working so far.

    Like

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