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Article posted: 1/30/2013 6:00 AM

Age-based tests unfair to older drivers

I didn't realize until recently that in Illinois you are required to take a road test to renew your driver's license starting at age 75. This is very upsetting to me. Not because I am a bad driver, but because I get very nervous when being tested for any reason.

In this case your entire independence depends on one test. My husband and I are in our mid sixties. I have no children. So losing our license could be devastating.

I am sure I am not the only one who gets nervous at the prospect of this retesting.

I have looked on the Internet, and only two other states in the union require age-based road testing. I even found that in Washington, D.C. there is a Senior Driver Empowerment Act of 2007 that prohibits the DMV from requiring a written or road test to renew a license simply because of age.

I also found that evidence is inconclusive about senior caused accidents being more frequent. I believe this could be true, for so many reasons. My husband and I shop during the week when others are at work. We go out for lunch not dinner. If the weather is bad, we stay home except for emergencies.

People of all ages can have unsafe driving habits. People of all ages can have distractions and health issues that can affect their driving. I feel it is very unfair to punish all elderly drivers for the mistakes of a few. Ability is what effects safety not age. If your driving record is good-why retest.

We have contacted some representatives, but they seem less than interested. I don't know how to effect a change, but maybe someone else does. In this day and age of unfair discrimination being challenged on a daily basis, I find this situation appalling.

Patricia Schemmel


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