Laws Proposed to Reduce Impaired Driving

In the wake of recent tragedies involving elderly drivers in Massachusetts, the state will likely enact new laws in the future to reduce impaired driving in Massachusetts. For example, House Bill 232 would require Mass. doctors and health care providers to notify the Mass. RMV if they have diagnosed a patient with a physical or mental impairment which would affect that person’s ability to drive safely.  A proposed Massachusetts Senate Bill would require drivers 85 and older to take vision and road tests every 5 years. It was also proposed that the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles develop a system to identify senior drivers with multiple accidents allow concerned family members to easily request road tests for their relatives.  Another proposal would require all Mass. drivers to pass road tests, every 10 years. Both AAA and AARP currently offer special driving classes for elderly drivers.

Currently, elderly drivers who are involved in motor vehicle accidents, or other incidents which suggest impaired driving, can have their licenses suspended under the Mass. Registry’s Immediate Threat Suspension Procedure. These drivers must attend a hearing at the Registry of Motor Vehicles and are usually sent for medical examinations and a competency road test.