Last week we should have been celebrating Louis' 1st birthday which I image would be full of swimming! He loved swimming. He was the only baby who fell asleep in his first swimming class and maybe we would have gotten him a paddling pool and there would have been a special cake... In fact I can say with confidence that would have been ordered. He would have had special and super stylish outfits for the occasion too. At Christmas I was out of control, there was about a weeks worth of seasonal outfits and even elf booties! Instead we are picking up the pieces left of our lives and missing him terribly.
"be honest with yourself or a loved one, are you/them still safe to drive? are you/them still capable?"
All I can ask you to do is be honest with yourself or a loved one, are you/them still safe to drive? Are you/them still capable? Sadly, unlike many more progressive countries, the test you take at 17 lasts you forever and you just self declare if you are fit to drive beyond the age of 70. Research has shown that your self perception is about 10 years behind your actual ability to drive. If the 74 year old woman who killed Louis or their family had done this then we would have had such a different week.
Sadly there are too many families going through what we are, caused by the same failings. We all know the issues caused by drink drivers etc, but they are likely to be at night and hurt themselves or those in a car with them, not that I'm saying its a lesser evil its not, but lets not forget that those unsafe to drive through age are most likely to be out in the daytime and avoid motorways. They drive when are children are out and about in the urban area. This needs to stop. Sadly we know its all too common. We have had lots of support from various people agreeing with us and have experienced similar near misses or worse.
Some insensitive people and worryingly in some form of authority have suggested retesting might lead to social isolation, so unsafe driving is the lesser evil? Likely we quickly realised being at home one of the reason we are moving is accessibility. I can't drive at the moment and public transport although reasonable is not super frequent and the services in the village are limited so it doesn't lend itself to independence. We made the hardest of decisions in the hardest of circumstances. Other people can make that decision to move and not be reliant on driving a car unsafely. We are already taking this issue further and raising the matter with Government in time but act now and think before you drive unsafely or someone you love does. The consequences are life destroying for others on so many levels.
"Think before you drive unsafely or someone you love does. The consequences are life destroying for others on so many levels."
Furthermore on the point of social isolation it's interesting that has been thrown back at us. A good few many years ago (I won't say the exact number as its not fair on my uni friends!) I did my university dissertation on just this and interviewed the local head of community and ran workshops etc and guess what it wasn't an ability to drive that was the issue it was about quality of social interaction and feeling valued. I can't say the loss of Louis can be excused by the risk of so called social isolation especially by people who clearly don't even know what social isolation is. Although it does seem clear in the name its not called motor vehicle isolation. Surely our focus should be on making sure people are safe to drive. It seems very simple if unsafe don't.
This is an everlasting message from Louis. For more information on our campaigns please visit our website www.louisthorold.com.