Seeing is not believing on N.Y. roads
Across the border in New York, the Department of Motor Vehicles folks have decided that you don’t need to have your eyes tested at license renewal time. Instead, you simply have to attest that your eyes are fine. The decision to remove the vision test is sure to be popular with people who don’t want the hassle of renewing in person or worry they might not pass the test.
One suspects this move will help the state save some money because people will be able to renew online, meaning fewer clerks and more automation or, as the Republicans might say, “another job killer.” The Cuomo administration saves money; the people who might be concerned about decreasing eyesight don’t have to worry. A few Republican Senators in New York, however, do worry and have some reservations about the plan.
They think the public may be endangered and, no doubt, a few people who say that their eyesight is fine will be fudging things. After all, people get cataracts and as we age we are susceptible to other eye problems like macular degeneration. We know that a lot of Americans get killed on our roads every year and the more we promote traffic safety, the fewer accidents we see. That’s good. The Democratic Cuomo administration risks a sort of Willy Horton backlash, however.
The first time there’s a serious accident because the driver at fault was found to have substandard vision, there will be hell to pay. I’m glad that after cataract surgery my vision is fine. For the first time in my life, I don’t have a restriction on my license. At a time when there have been murmurings about restricting senior driving, it seems to me that there are alternatives, such as certification by an eye doctor. Of course, that would be quite an economic boon to the eye doctors.
The New York DMV people say others states have done this with no negative results. Maybe we should consider the same program for Massachusetts. At one time there was a DMV office in Great Barrington. Who wants to drive to Pittsfield?
If there is a serious crime that district attorneys want to put a stop to, it’s the intimidation or murder of a witness in a criminal trial. Such activity goes right to the heart of our justice system.
Along with the killing of a police officer, the society has a high priority mandate to put a stop to such heinous activity.
When President Lincoln was assassinated, anyone who harbored the conspirators or gave them any aid or comfort was in deep trouble.
Anyone who may have helped those who actually did crime is under the microscope. Look for more on girlfriends and associates of the accused perpetrators in the recent killings of potential witnesses. Look at it this way – Al Capone didn’t go to jail for murder. They got him on his failure to pay taxes. You had better believe that DA David Capeless is one angry man about these killings and is out for anyone who was complicit in the crime. He is sending a message to all those facing trial that this is not the way to solve your problem. Finally, the Berkshire Botanical Gardens Harvest Festival is scheduled for today and tomorrow. If there is a single must-go-to event in the Berkshires that celebrates the harvest season and brings us all together, this is the one. The Gardens are a phenomenal gift to all of us and the people at the intersection of 102 and 183 are to be congratulated for their hard work and especially for bringing us all together, rain or shine. If you go, you;re sure to meet everyone you know and love and won’t see again until next year at the same time.
Originally published in the Berkshire Eagle, 10/1/11