WAVE 3 Editorial – June 28, 2012: Elderly Drivers

Published: Jun. 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM EDT|Updated: May. 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM EDT
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By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager

Taking the keys away from your mom and dad is tough. But at a certain time, it has to happen.

Some older drivers know when to stop driving, others have to be nudged or pushed. Not everyone is responsible enough to do it and there is nothing stopping folks in their 90's or late 80's from driving.

Many states don't have specific rules for elderly drivers. Some, like Ohio and West Virginia, do require a vision test when renewing your license - every four years in Ohio and every five in West Virginia. Illinois requires a vision test only for drivers 75 or over.

Indiana requires drivers from ages 75 to 85 to renew their license every three years and for drivers over 85 to renew every two years and a vision test is standard for all renewing a license.

But Kentucky has no specific rules for elderly drivers – no vision, written, or road test. Just renew your license in person every four years like everyone else.

There needs to be some requirements. Just as teen drivers need to be tested to gain driving rights, older drivers should as well. It may not need to be as stringent as North Carolina where a vision and written test for those 54 and older are required every five years to drive, or Georgia, where a vision test is required for drivers over 64, but there should be something.

Our nation is aging. In 15 years there will be more than 70 million Americans older than 65, about one of every five of us. We must address the realities of that change.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.