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NH Rep. Trying To Get Rid Of State Test For Elderly Drivers

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

CONCORD, N.H. (CBS) — New Hampshire State Representative Robert Williams is 84 years old, and he is not a big fan of mandatory road tests for seniors.

“It’s very discriminatory,” explains the Concord Democrat. “Also, it’s totally ineffective. It’s just not needed, and it puts seniors through a terrible experience.”

Age alone, Willams says, is not reason enough to deny someone a driver’s license renewal. That’s why he’s sponsoring a bill to do away with the Granite State’s requirement that every driver over the age of 75 prove they are physically and mentally qualified to keep their license.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports.

He’s been at it for years, but this session, the idea seems to have some traction. His bill just passed the transportation committee on a unanimous vote. It’s expected to sail through the N.H. House next week; Williams is optimistic for its chance in the senate.

“There are better ways,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be done on chronological age.”

Instead of the age-based requirement, Williams favors a medical review board that could deny a driver’s license renewal based on the recommendations of family members or doctors. Massachusetts has a similar mechanism to keep people with medical or cognitive impairments off the road.

Williams says seniors will be less upset to lose their licenses for a medical reason rather than just because they’re seniors.

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