Bill would toughen standards for older drivers in N. Carolina

North Carolina tells teenagers they can't drive until they're 16 years old, so seniors should face limitations based on age, too, state Rep. Ric Killian says.

Killian, a Charlotte Republican, is sponsoring legislation that would require more frequent driver license renewals for people 65 and older, and mandate road tests for people older than 85.

That doesn't sit well with Nellie Lee Philips, 93, of Raleigh. She recently renewed her license for another five years without taking a road test.

"I'll take one when I am 98," she said.

As his bill moves forward in the House, Killian is citing an academic study that shows the oldest drivers have more crashes per miles traveled than anyone except younger teen drivers.

Killian's bill, scheduled to be discussed at 11 a.m. today by the House Transportation Committee, would require drivers older than 75 to renew their licenses every three years, instead of five, and make drivers older than 85 take road tests each time they renew.

"There's clearly a connection between a person's age and their ability to operate a motor vehicle," Killian said.

The state office of AARP, while saying Killian has good intentions, is ramping up opposition to the bill, asking 66,000 active state members to call legislators to express concern.

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