Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Proposed License Restrictions for Older Drivers, Mikaela Kornowski

 A bill is being considered in Wisconsin to require drivers age 75 and older to renew drivers licenses every 4 years. Currently, all drivers are required to renew licenses every 8 years.

Drivers would have to pass an eyesight exam. An older driver would have the option of submitting a medical form proving satisfactory eyesight for every other renewal.

19 states have more frequent renewal periods for older drivers and thirteen states require vision or road tests once drivers reach a certain age. Wisconsin law does not require either.

The bill is sponsored by State Senators Fred Risser and John Lehman.  Risser states, “Statistics show that per-mile-traveled crash rates start to increase at age 75 and those crashes are more likely to be fatal. With this bill, the DMV could help determine if someone’s driving skills are poor before a crash occurs.”

In 2011, there were 46 drivers between the ages of 75 and 84 involved in fatal car accidents in Wisconsin.

In 2013, La Crosse had a total of 4 fatal car crashes. There were a total of 9 car crashes with  fatalities in 2012 and 17 fatalities in 2011.

A traffic fatality is reported when death occurs within 30 days of the accident as a result of injuries received in the accident. Weekly fatality reports can be found on the WisDOT website and the reports are arranged by county and by month.