Fair treatment

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

There’s something troubling about what has happened to Sam Callis. On today’s front page, we have a story about how Callis, an 86-year-old Suffolk resident, had his driver’s license confiscated.

It started with Callis being ticketed by a Suffolk police officer back in May for impeding traffic – driving 25 in a 45 zone. So far, everything’s fine. But then things take a strange turn.

Callis got a lawyer and was able to beat the ticket in court. Case closed, right? Not by a long shot.

Email newsletter signup

Someone took it upon themselves to report Callis’ driving – 70 years without being involved in accident – to the DMV which since has subjected Callis to a number of medical and driving tests, all of which he passed.

Nonetheless on Thursday, a DMV official literally took his driver’s license from him at the DMV office here and told him to find a way home.

One hears frequently of senior citizen drivers causing accidents and it’s been the subject of a nationwide debate. In response to that, the General Assembly passed laws governing the testing last year.

If anybody is a menace on the roadways the state has a responsibility to keep them off the road – just like it does with drunks and should do with people who talk on cell phones while driving.

Be that as it may, Callis willingly subjected himself to the testing and passed. It doesn’t make sense that his license was confiscated.

In addition, fundamental aspects of our legal system are that a person has the right to face his or her accuser and they are innocent until proven guilty.

Neither of those applied in this case, which is troubling.

The general assembly needs to revisit this issue because this was surely not how the system was designed to work. And senior organizations should come to Callis’ defense, because if it can happen to him it can happen to any senior, and probably will.