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State must retest all elderly drivers

Reading The News over the last week is like a roll call of age 80-plus drivers causing accidents. Of course no one would expect our Department of Motor Vehicles to be at fault, but it clearly shares the blame.

While standing in the DMV cashier line, I offered an elderly, bent-over man, who was limited to 6-inch steps with the help of his walker, to jump in line ahead of me. This started a conversation forever etched in my mind. This 82-year-old man with severe mobility limitations had just been issued a driver’s license renewal for eight years, virtually untested except for vision. I can’t help but be angered at New York State for permitting an eight-year renewal for a man 82 years of age without some sort of physical test, but I understand the revenue advantages. I also can’t help wondering how much time this driver would need to put his foot on the brake or turn the steering wheel.

I support seniors’ right to driving privileges, but there are steps that offer solutions, like markers on their vehicles similar to student drivers. Most importantly, annual testing to ensure they remain capable for a 12-month period, much to the disdain of Albany revenue hunters.

Joseph Coia

West Seneca