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Aging Drivers

Posted by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:41 AM
  • 10 Replies

Lawmakers in Concord are debating whether elderly drivers should be required to take road tests before renewing their driver's licenses.

The House Transportation Committee heard testimony on a bill Tuesday that would require testing of older drivers. Bette Champney told the committee that her husband, Gary Champney, and another motorcyclist were killed last year when they were struck by a car driven by an 87-year-old man.

"He would be here today if it wasn't for that elderly driver who overreached and overdrove straight into Gary," she said.

Police were still investigating the crash when the driver died of his injuries. But that crash and others have sparked a renewed debate over whether older drivers should be road-tested based solely on their age.

Rep. Tara Sad, D-Walpole, said she thinks 85 might be a good starting point.

"The issue of age discrimination is top on my list of concerns," she said. "I feel that statistics prove there is a legitimate basis for testing because of public safety, but it needs to be examined."

AARP spokesman Bob Denz said there are problems with testing older drivers.

"AARP has found that age-based testing has not been effective," he said.

But Denz said the AARP is open to having the discussion, especially because an aging population means there are more older drivers on the road.

Denz said it can be a tricky subject for family members to address or for the driver to acknowledge. He said it's a problem that continues to evolve, along with solutions to it.

"Every day, I think we are coming in with something new," he said. "The best we have, of course, is to teach older drivers skills and so forth and know when it's time to stop."

Age-based testing wouldn't be a new concept in New Hampshire. Such a law was on the books a couple of years ago until cost issues led to its repeal.



Read more: http://www.wmur.com/news/politics/House-considers-road-tests-for-older-drivers/-/9857748/18328032/-/ttydk9/-/index.html#ixzz2JTQjY3tI


How do you feel about aging drivers. Do you feel its discrimination to ask older people to submit to more testing to prove that they can be safe on the roads? Do you think we need to do it in order to protect the safety of all on the roads? Whats your thoughts?

by on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:41 AM
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Replies (1-10):
rosemagic01
by Holli on Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I honestly believe that after 65-70 that extra tests should be done. Not just road tests but eye tests too. I don't think its any different than making 16 year olds submit to testing. Not to mention people who are generally in that age group are on a lot of different kinds of medication (not all but a lot of them) and how those meds can slow down your reaction times on top of what just simply happens with aging. A lot of time confusion isn't something that older people even realize they're going through. I think about how I would feel at that age. How I would feel being tested and with it I think about what if someone didn't test me and I ended up hurting someone because my reactions were slower than I realized without it being seen by another you know? So I honestly believe even at that age if I was driving I would really want someone to test me and make sure that I am up to par with driving. And I think if one is on too many meds for certain things doctors should put higher restrictions on talking to their patients about if they should or shouldn't drive. Not that they could regulate it but at least make the patient aware of what all the meds they take can do.

AmesCSki
by Amy on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:02 PM
I heard about this on NPR this morning. I think extra testing for the older folks as to driving should be required. I love my grandmother but she should NOT be driving. Sometimes I think my mom shouldn't drive either and she's only 62. I see a lot of older people making bonehead moves while driving and it stresses me out big time, moreso now that I drive with a baby.
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AidanCamsMom
by Amanda on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:16 PM

I don't see anything wrong with having the older people test to make sure they are still capable of driving safely. When I worked for the school bus company we had an older man who was always getting into accidents and just doing stupid things. He was finally retested and he didn't pass.

lillucky8
by Jen on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM
I work with the elderly and definately believe they should do testing for them. Id say 85% of my patients shouldnt drive but we cannot tell the dmv to pull their licenses, only suggest the family bring them to retest.
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jennient3
by Jennie on Jan. 30, 2013 at 1:02 PM
I agree they should have to retest
I also think a dr should be able to recommend to the DMV that a certain person should be retested as well
Because of illness or medications

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143myboys9496
by Suzzanne on Jan. 30, 2013 at 7:52 PM

 I think that after 70, they should be required to retest.

My great-grandmother, was in her 80's and shouldn't have been driving..and was, until my grandmother and her siblings brought her up to Cambridge from the Cape and put her in a nursing home.

She left a pot of water on the gas stove and forgot about it...the fire dept told my uncle, it wasn't safe to leave her home alone anymore.

Maverick1957
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:39 PM

I firmly believe they should at least take the Road Test.  Some are so stubborn they won't though.  My dad is now 91 and HE has limited his own driving, not venturing more than hr's drive away from home.

My ex's grandfather (law enforcement official - retired) was diagnosed with Alzheimers.  One afternoon he took his truck, disappeared for hours.  They had state troopers, sherriffs depts, police forces, state's bureau of investigation looking for him.  Found him several hours later like...3 HOURS from home! Needless to say, keys hidden after that and he was only allowed to drive around the property, with someone in truck with him.  So sad to see a man Larger Than Life, reduced to such.  :(


Maverick1957
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 12:41 PM

I firmly believe they should at least take the Road Test.  Some are so stubborn they won't though.  My dad is now 91 and HE has limited his own driving, not venturing more than hr's drive away from home.

My ex's grandfather (law enforcement official - retired) was diagnosed with Alzheimers.  One afternoon he took his truck, disappeared for hours.  They had state troopers, sherriffs depts, police forces, state's bureau of investigation looking for him.  Found him several hours later like...3 HOURS from home! Needless to say, keys hidden after that and he was only allowed to drive around the property, with someone in truck with him.  So sad to see a man Larger Than Life, reduced to such.  :(


lasombrs
by Sara on Jan. 31, 2013 at 6:57 PM

they could retest everyone imo. there are a ton of crappy drivers out

Crissy2424
by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 8:04 PM

I agree. Everyone including the elderly should be retested.

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