Sen. Brian Joyce, D-Milton, has reintroduced legislation this session that would require all drivers older than 85 to pass a vision and road test every five years to renew a license.

Senior advocacy groups say it’s tragic that an 82-year-old driver pinned a parking lot attendant between cars in Brookline this week, but no reason to unfairly pick on elderly drivers with mandatory road tests.


Sen. Brian Joyce, D-Milton, has reintroduced legislation this session that would require all drivers older than 85 to pass a vision and road test every five years to renew a license.


Joyce said he believes the legislation will save lives, and points to the stricter driving rules recently enacted for teens.


“We had no problem with the Junior Operating law two years ago,” he said in a recent interview, “but 16-year-olds can’t vote.”


Right now, 28 states have provisions for testing elderly drivers, according to Joyce’s office.


A coalition of organizations including the state’s AARP chapter and the Massachusetts Council on Aging say the renewal process should be stricter throughout every driver’s career – and not pick what they say is an arbitrary age for road tests.


David Stevens, executive director of the state Council on Aging, said he’s also concerned about alternatives for seniors getting to doctor appointments and stores.


“Before we just pick an arbitrary age, we need to make sure we have replacement transportation for shopping and religious services,” he said.


The Patriot Ledger