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Amber Alert

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin may test elderly drivers more frequently

An Oregon state lawmaker wants to toughen the renewal process for elderly drivers in Oregon. Similar efforts are underway in Texas and Wisconsin.

Rep. Vicki Berger, R-Salem, has introduced a bill that would require Oregon drivers age 75 and older to renew their licenses and undergo testing more frequently. State law now requires all drivers to renew their licenses every eight years. Drivers more than 50 years old must take acuity and field-of-vision tests.

The bill would require older drivers to renew their licenses every four years. They also would be required to pass eyesight and driving-skills tests, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported.

Opponents say it’s unfair to single out elderly drivers. Supporters say the change is necessary to help keep the state’s roads safe. They cite statistics from the Oregon Department of Transportation that show while drivers 75 and older have an accident rate only slightly lower than beginning drivers.

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