Driver's license renewal rules may change for elderly

FAIRFAX STATION, Va. (WJLA) - A panel is looking at Virginia’s increasing number of older drivers and current licensing laws, and deciding whether things need to change.

"I'm glad we're having that discussion,” says Dave Morrell. For him, the situation is personal.

His eldest son Darren was killed two years ago when an 85-year-old motorist pulled out of a parking lot and struck him.

“If we can keep one family from going through the sadness that we have, are, and will go through, it will be effort well spent," he adds.

The panel has recommended lowering the mandatory in-person driver’s license renewal age from 80 to 75; they also are recommending shortening license renewal for drivers age 75 and over from the current every eight years to every five years.

The reasoning? As people age, their reaction times, night vision, and cognitive abilities decline.

But old doesn’t have to mean one is necessarily a lousy driver, and some worry about too broad of a brush. Darren Morrell had only been married 18 months, and his father who is now 65 himself, says he just wants families to start the discussion.