Urge New York State DMV to introduce retesting every 2 years once a driver turns 80

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Shortly after 10:30am on Monday, June 25th 2018, my wife was walking our 2-year-old son to Willets Point Playground behind P.S. 209 in Whitestone, Queens. She came across the scene of a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling south on Utopia Parkway. The young woman was lying unresponsive in the crosswalk and a police officer was attempting to resuscitate her before paramedics had arrived. She did not survive.

I later found out that this young woman was a 17-year-old girl named Maddie. Her friends, classmates, and family members created a memorial for her outside of P.S. 209 with candles, flowers, and cards (see photo).

17-year-old Maddie was struck by an 88-year-old driver who drove through a steady red light. 

Maddie’s death could have been prevented. Unlike many other states, New York State currently does not have specific provisions for older drivers. A person’s driver’s license only needs to be renewed every 8 years with no retesting for older individuals other than passing a vision exam.

Simply passing a vision exam is an extremely low standard for a person to maintain their privilege to drive. A person’s memory (i.e. individuals suffering from dementia) and reaction time must also be assessed during the license renewal process. Individuals over 80 must be able to demonstrate that they can continue to remain safe on the road.

As the Baby Boomer generation enters their 70s and 80s, we may see an increase in motor vehicle accidents. Please sign this petition if you support mandatory retesting every two years for all drivers age 80 and over.

Let’s keep our communities and roads safe and prevent future tragedies from happening.