The biggest problem America faces as a result our aging population (Baby Boomers make up almost 27 percent of our citizens.) is not a looming economic crisis caused by increased demand for Social Security and Medicare dollars. It is the threat to our physical safety from the increased use of electric carts.
You know, these.
Senior citizens zip around all over on Amigos. The tear through store aisles at top speed, not stopping at intersections. They back up from the milk cooler without looking, nearly running down the mother pushing her newborn baby in a cart. They’re driving through crowded parks and museums, narrowly missing small children and dogs.
Some of these older folks aren’t allowed to operate motor vehicles on the street. Their medicine cabinets have more drugs in them than the Rolling Stones in the 60s. They can’t see even with their trifocals on. Yet they’re allowed to operate these electric carts around the general public?
I was surround today in the produce aisle by four — FOUR — senior citizens on those little scooters.
There I was standing next to the cucumbers with no escape. I tried to get out-of-the-way of the man in front of me backing up, but I was stopped by a woman behind me driving forward. The cucumbers blocked my escape from the left, and on my right a couple on matching scooters were intently studying tomatoes. I grabbed hold of my three-year old in the cart and braced for the inevitable collision.
Thankfully no one sustained any injuries in the crash.
I don’t want to disrespect our older population. They are our grandparents, parents and grandparents of our children after all. I realize for many these scooters improve their quality of life and offer them mobility they wouldn’t have otherwise.
I’m just suggesting maybe a class or two in scooter safety is in order. Perhaps there could be a test to earn a license to operate the scooters in public locations. Perhaps Congress could write legislation requiring installation on all scooters of turn signals, headlights and on-board back-up cameras.
We younger folks on foot are at a disadvantage compared to the speed and nimbleness of Senior Citizens on Amigos. If we don’t do something about electric cart safety the next major crisis in our country will be the drain on healthcare to treat all the victims of scooter accidents.