Bill to Require Seniors to Renew Driver’s Licenses More Often Moves to Senate
Feb 07, 2014
A House bill that require seniors to renew their driver’s licenses earlier and more often moves forward in the General Assembly.
A Virginia father who lost his son in horrible crash helped to shape this legislation.
This bill would require anyone age 75 to appear in person at DMV to renew their driver’s license. Right now the age is 80.
Also driver’s licenses are typically issued for eight years. This measure would require anyone 75 or older to renew their license every five years.
Supporters say the measure is not about targeting seniors but making our roads safer for everyone.
This week, an elderly woman in Florida accidentally backs into a crowd leaving church and kills three. In May, a chesterfield senior hits the gas instead of the brakes and plows into a building. And last year an elderly driver makes a wrong turn plunging into the James River. All tragic accidents that could have possibly been prevented.
Dave Morrell’s 32-year-old son Darren, a newlywed full of hopes and dreams, was tragically hit and killed by a senior driver in Oakton in 2011.
“It occurred when an 85 year old individual pulled out of a small commercial area making a left-hand turn without looking.”
The 85-year-old never even knew he hit Darren.
“In fact pedestrians alongside the road had to stop him. So it begged the question how was he still driving.”
Wanting to prevent something like this from happening to another family, Morrell pressed for House Bill 771, the Mature Driving Bill, which requires seniors renew their licenses earlier, in person and more often.
While critics argues it’s taking a seniors’ impendence away it has wide support from AARP, Drivesmart Virginia and the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
“The bill we think is very reasonable,” says Dana Schrad, Executive Director VA Association of Police Chiefs. “It just requires you to go a little bit more frequently and get your eyes checked and that is something that should be a public safety concern for all of us.”
The bill has passed the House. It heads to the Senate on February 12.
To read the full bill, click here.