Rep. Ball: Elderly driver laws don't have much traction

Published: Sep. 18, 2014 at 10:00 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2014 at 10:00 PM CDT
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Legislators said bills pertaining to elderly drivers haven't gone far because teens are...
Legislators said bills pertaining to elderly drivers haven't gone far because teens are involved in the majority of accidents. (Source: WAFF)

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A 92-year-old woman is at home recovering Thursday after accidentally

The woman crashed through Hope Community Church in Huntsville Wednesday morning.

Accidents like that are one of the reasons lawmakers in Alabama have considered strengthening

laws pertaining to elderly drivers (PDF).

State Representative Mike Ball said legislation hasn't gotten very far.

And that's because while accidents do happen, it's actually teenagers getting in the majority of accidents.

But they have not had a bill come through with enough consensus among lawmakers.

"Adding another chore to an already undermanned agency without a clear pubic safety benefit would just be foolish." said Ball.

That being said, Alabama is one the most lax states when it comes to senior behind the wheel.

There are no special requirements, every driver, no matter your age must renew their license in person every four years.

In New Mexico, they require an annual license renewal at the age of 75.

In Washington D.C., drivers must have a doctor's certificate saying it is okay for them to drive before they can renew.

In Illinois, when a driver reaches 75, they have to take a road test every time they renew their license.

A couple in their 80's in Huntsville said they wouldn't mind being re-tested but do believe it should be a personal or family choice.

"I think it is an excellent idea." said Roger Ravenscraft. "It would alert the individual themselves that they shouldn't be driving."

"I think it depends on the person's health, personally." said Mary Lee Ravenscraft. "I am quite capable of still driving."

A study by AAA found that while teen drivers are more likely to get into accidents, elderly drivers are more likely to be injured or killed in crashes.

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