Right: new technology, including driver aids, are making it easier for the older driver to stay behind the wheel. This veteran motorist is shown taking a simulator test drive, a method of assessment that is gaining in popularity in the US.
The issue of older motorists and their real and imagined faults will not go away. In fact, as the median age increases - and the age of drivers along with it - news media campaigns based on a series of probably coincidental events (such as the current controversy) will become more - not less - common.
However, if ageing is inevitable, so is progress. Technological advances in driver aids, vehicle safety and automation of processes are being announced almost every month. It would seem that not only will on-board devices tell the driver how to get to a destination, but that they will very soon actually take over the driving altogether, at least on main roads. If cars become more-or-less self-driving, the age and condition of the person behind the wheel will become less relevant.
But, even without the march of technology, lawmakers - who are politicians first and foremost - are unlikely to move against the wishes of a large voting bloc like the so-called ''baby-boomers", the Australians born after the Second World War. This was the generation which was brought up with privately-owned cars, which became one of life's necessities.
To this generation, a driving licence is a right. However, it is highly probable that Victoria will make some sort of restriction on older drivers compulsory, with medical certificates and regular tests the most likely to be considered. It is most UNlikely that these restrictions will be imposed on the baby-boomers, however. Instead, any new restrictions will apply to those over eighty at first. Thus, lawmakers will be acknowledging that restrictions are necessary, while avoiding the political penalties involved in upsetting the sixty-to-seventy age group. The baby-boomer generation of drivers will then be ambushed in a decade or so, by which time even a large voting bloc will find it hard to cause existing laws to be repealed.