Is there such a thing as “too old to drive” in Oregon?

MEDFORD, Ore. – More and more senior drivers are on the road, with projections showing they could represent over a quarter of drivers by 2025.

With the increasing numbers, Oregonians should know what options they have for family and friends who may be getting too old drive.

The Department of Motor Vehicles says they recognize driving is a symbol of many people’s independence, including seniors. That’s why they offer a number of options for older drivers to maintain their independence as long as they can.

In Oregon, drivers who are over 50 need to take a vision test and may be asked to take a written test of driving knowledge when they go to the DMV to renew their license.

Oregon also encourages the reporting of “at risk” drivers. The DMV has made “Driver Evaluation Request” forms that can be filled out by anyone. However, the request can’t be based solely on age, a diagnosis (such as Alzheimer’s) and/or general health. Doctors can also make reports voluntarily or if they’re asked by the DMV.

If the DMV receives a report, they’ll determine the next steps. The DMV could require a driver to be re-examined, ask for more medical information, or–they say rarely–suspend a driver’s license immediately if there’s a threat to public safety.

Sometimes, physical or mental conditions are found to impair drivers. In those cases, a special “restricted driver license” can be issued. Common restrictions include the required use of corrective lenses, driving during daylight hours only, geographic restrictions or additional mirrors attached to the vehicle.

More information about reporting an unsafe driver can be found here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/Pages/at-risk_voluntary_reporting.aspx

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