Massachusetts Legislators Considering New Laws on Driver Licensing

Yesterday, Massachusetts legislators vowed to “fast track” legislation regarding older drivers in light of several recent auto accidents involving older motorists. Senator Brian A. Joyce has twice introduced legislation that would put greater scrutiny on older drivers. His proposal mandates vision and road tests every five years for all drivers 85 and older. Joyce said he hopes that the recent car crashes would provide the impetus for the Legislature to act.

Among those present at a State House hearing yesterday were Nihan Patel, the relative of a 4-year-old who died a day after being hit by a car driven by an 86-year-old woman. The Registry of Motor Vehicles suspended the driver’s license, and Stoughton police cited her for motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation.

During yesterday’s hearing, a 78-year-old Woburn woman was hit “nearly head-on” by an 83-year-old driver. She sustained life-threatening injuries and was in critical condition at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Another bill calls for changes in the licensing of all drivers, not limiting the restrictions to drivers of a certain age.

Lawmakers vow to ‘fast track’ elderly driver legislation, Boston Globe, July 1, 2009
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