House panel OKs tighter regulation of older drivers

House panel OKs tighter regulation of older drivers

By Bill Sizemore
The Virginian-Pilot

Legislation to tighten state regulation of older drivers got off to a fast start in a House subcommittee today.

Del. Tim Hugo’s bill (HB771) shortens the renewal period for a driver’s license from eight to five years for motorists 75 and older.

It also requires those drivers to appear in person and pass a vision test for license renewal. Under current law, that’s not necessary until age 80.

In addition, the legislation provides for a “mature driver motor vehicle crash prevention” course as an option for judges handling traffic cases.

The subcommittee heard from a variety of speakers supporting the bill, including Bryan Morrell of Fairfax County, whose brother Darren was killed in 2011 when his motorcycle was hit by a car with an 85-year-old driver.

The motorist drove away from the accident and, when stopped, showed signs of cognitive impairment, Morrell said.

The measure from Hugo, R-Fairfax County, was approved unanimously and advances to the full Transportation Committee.



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