Two Wisconsin lawmakers have tweaked a proposed bill to require more frequent license renewals for those over age 75, but eliminate a previously-suggested mandatory driving skills test.
In Wisconsin, a driver's license is renewed every eight years. State Sens. Fred Risser and John Lehman said they think drivers who are 75 years old and older should renew every four years.
Risser, himself 86 years old, said they've revised the bill introduced in May to take out a provision some objected to.
“The main difference is that it removes the mandatory driving skills exam. In other words, it still has the eye exam but the mandatory skills exam [road test] is out of there, mainly because of the cost element,” he said.
A road test costs $15. Currently, an elderly person's license can be canceled if a doctor tells the state Department of Transportation a person shouldn't drive. In addition, police or other citizens can complain about unsafe driving by an elderly motorist, which may result in a mandatory doctor's visit or road test.
Risser said more frequent license renewal for those 75 and older could make roads safer.
“Insurance statistics prove conclusively that most accidents on highway are caused by either by the youngest drivers or the oldest drivers,” he said. “When older drivers get in accidents, it seems there are more fatalities than [with] younger drivers.”
A state-by-state look at driving rules shows most have special requirements for older drivers or more frequent renewals for motorists of all ages. States that have eight-year renewals but don't have different rules for elderly drivers include Wisconsin, Mississippi, New York and Delaware.