Petition calls for stricter rules for senior drivers

Posted: Updated:

Some New Yorkers are calling on state officials for more testing for elderly drivers.

A petition being circulated calls for New York's drivers to take a driving test every two years once they turn 80.

The push comes after 17-year-old Madeline Sershen was killed while crossing the street in Queens last month by an 88-year-old driver. The petition is being driven by that girl’s friends and family and already has more than 20,000 signatures.

Currently, just a vision test is required for drivers over 80.

A spokesperson from the Department of Motor Vehicles told News 12 that the DMV cannot treat people differently solely based on their age. However, the DMV may initiate a driver re-evaluation if a driving incident, behavior, or action related to the driver's performance is reported.

While some say requiring older drivers to re-test on a more regular basis is discriminatory, others say it just makes sense. "If someone is concerned about any driver's performance on the road, we urge them to contact the DMV right away to request a driver review," the spokesperson said.

Manuel Vindas, owner of the New Millenium Driving School in New Rochelle, says an older driver's vision is not the same, and their reaction time is probably slower than a younger person's.

He says that when he has older people behind the wheel, he reminds them not to drive too far under the speed limit but also not to drive faster than their physical capabilities.

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