Joetta Marlor ushered her freshly groomed schnauzer, Princess, into the back seat of her car.
She settled into the blue Mercury and maneuvered down busy Park Boulevard, holding the wheel with one hand as she has done for 60 years. She signaled when she changed lanes, stopped at lights, applied her brakes carefully when a white Sentra pulled out in front of her. It was a sunny September day and Marlor, 79, appeared to be in command of her car.
But driving inspectors didn't think she should be on the road. After an accident last year, she was asked to take a driving test and did poorly on it. So in June, she received a letter saying "continued driving can place Ms. Marlor's safety and the safety of others at risk."
The letter said "driving cessation is strongly recommended." But it didn't say exactly when. So Marlor kept driving, knowing that the authorities could step in at any moment and take away her license.
One of her worst fears was that she would become a burden to her children. And if she couldn't drive, she felt she surely would be.
"It hurts. It really hurts," she said. "I'm so not ready. I'm glad I'm still independent."
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At 79 a Bid to Keep Her Driving License and Her Independence