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Massachusetts bus accident causes parents to question drivers

As a nation the U.S. has a questionable record in its treatment of those over the age of 60, including those in Massachusetts. While few say it aloud, many people believe that the older a person gets, the less able they are to correctly do a job. This thinking is present in almost every industry from fast food work to doctors and lawyers. But, many people fail to realize that those over the age of 60 are present in most workplaces across the United States.

Parents of school aged children in Massachusetts have recently opened their eye to the fact that many of the bus drivers transporting their children back and forth to school every day are over 60. This recognition comes on the heels of a bus accident involving an 84-year-old driver and a young boy on his bike. While the driver was deemed not at fault, the incident has some parents concerned over the age of their children's bus drivers.

Of the 9,676 licensed school bus drivers in Massachusetts, 42 of them are 80-years-old or older with over a thousand or more between the ages of 60 and 80. While the age of their children's bus drivers may alarm some parents most of the drivers over 60 have great driving records and are considered safe drivers.

In Massachusetts, any driver over the age of 70 must renew their certification every six months, as opposed to once a year like younger drivers. The certification process includes a physical exam and additional training, which may include an eye and ear exam. Although crashes involving drivers over the age of 65 have decreased many parents are still fearful. Supporters of the older drivers point out that driver safety and performance not age should be used to rate drivers.

Like the companies that employer older drivers when you are looking for an attorney, it is wise to focus on their years of experience and results rather than catchy tunes and commercials. Our law firm has handled a wider variety of civil law cases for over 50 years.

Source: Telegram & Gazette, "For school bus safety, driver ability more relevant than age," Donna Boynton Dec. 23, 2014

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