Reporting Jessica Kartalija
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More older drivers are on the road than ever before, largely due to a generation of baby boomers.
As Jessica Kartalija reports, when it comes to regulations for elderly drivers, states are literally all over the map.
When a 100-year-old driver reversed into a group of children in Los Angeles, it prompted many states to examine driving regulations for seniors.
Currently, 27 states and the District of Columbia require additional testing for elderly drivers but many say tests are unfair.
“If we had really refined tools to target in and find the bad apples, that would be one thing but we don’t have those,” said senior advocate John Eberhart.
Starting next month, drivers over 40 will be required to take an eye exam before their license can be renewed.
“We just want to get the risky drivers off the road,” said Mitchell Krasnopoler.
Susan and Mitchell Krasnopoler’s son, Nathan, was killed by an elderly driver. Since Nathan’s death, his parents have been urging the state to shorten the license renewal period for seniors, but in an effort to save money, the Motor Vehicle Association will instead lengthen the renewal period from five years to eight.
There’s also a push around the country to require everyone renew their licenses in person. Workers at a drivers’ license center can observe a person walking in and look for any signs of confusion or difficulty functioning.
The National Transportation Safety Administration is proposing national guidelines be created for elderly drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends doctors be protected from lawsuits if they report a potentially unsafe driver and that everyone over a certain age be required to renew their license in person.
Some states don’t require additional testing for seniors, citing age discrimination.