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Snitching on Dad

Who should be driving — and how do we decide?

My father is in his eighties and is an excellent driver. But what would I do if he weren’t so good behind the wheel? In Oregon I could confidentially report him to the Department of Motor Vehicles. They’d ask for my name, for his name, and for some information detailing why I thought he was an unsafe driver. Then they’d mail my dad a letter stating that he had 60 days to come in to be retested. If he failed to appear he’s risk license suspension.

Oregonians have had this right to confidentially report unsafe drivers since 1987. Since 2003 police officers have had the same power.

But that might be changing. Last month the Oregon Transportation Commission temporarily took that power away from police officers. They’re welcoming public comment on their decision until Friday. At which point they’ll reconvene and discuss whether this temporary change should hold. Meanwhile an Oregonian from Lane County argues that the DMV should perform more mandatory testing and drop this idea of confidential reporting altogether.

What do you think? Do you want the right to report your dad if he’s a bad driver? Should you be able to do so in confidence? Or should you just have to face your dad and tell him to get off the road? What rights do you want if someone reports you?


Photo credit: Misswired / Flickr / Creative Commons

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