Poll: Many Americans Want Seniors To Re-Take Driving Test

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — In the Tri-State area and across America respect for our elders seems to take a dip when it comes to the rules of the road, according to a survey.

A new Marist poll showed nearly two thirds of all Americans — 66 percent — think drivers should be required to re-take their road test when they turned 65 years old.

RELATED: Elderly Driving: When To Ask Aging Relatives For The Keys

“They’re horrible. They go slow. They stop,” Queens resident Jose Medina told CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport.

“I think in New York City they should reduce it to around 55 [years old]. Because there’s plenty of people who need to do it again,” Bob Rose of Long Island City said.

According to the survey, 84 percent of those under 30 wanted to see seniors re-take the test. Amongst those 60 or older, the number dropped to 48 percent.

The reasons for the sentiment ranged from slow driving to forgetting the rules of the road. Many seniors, however, said they were offended and that they drive just fine.

“There’s always a little something. Ya gotta take the test,” one woman at a senior center in Astoria quipped.

“Because right away, you’re 65. Just bury you, get rid of you and I’m not for that,” 80-year-old Arthur Lichtbmlau said.

Others said driving might just get better with age.

“My husband is driving all his life. He’s a better driver now than he’s ever been at the age of 85 years old,” Eva Perullo said.

“I got all the experience in the world. I don’t need to take it anymore,” Perullo’s husband Louis said.

SOUND-OFF: Got an opinion on this story?  Let us know in the comments sections below…

  • LJ

    You cannot make blanket statments abuot any particular age group. Not all seniors have bad reflexes. Some people are alert and capable well into their 80s, while others are inattentive and careless in their 20s and 30s. We could all stand to improve our driving abilities. If you are going to re-test, then do it for those who have demonstrated poor driving habits, such as repeated DUIs speeding, or accidents deemed to have been their fault. What are the statistics about who is really causing the most accidents on the road? I suspect you’d find that reckless young people are to blame more often than seniors.

  • sonny

    I’m 69 I still drive a motorcycle


    quick test cupcakes..for what reason is their a yellow light before the red..and which lane is the slow lane???

  • Chaim

    Everybody should be retested every five years, especially in Franklin Square and Elmont ( Lucille Avenue!)

  • GM

    I am 61. I have always maintained that older drivers should be retested. Regrettably, my mother in law should not have been driving at age 72 when she had a fatal accident (thankfully, it was a “one car” accident). Also, when my daughter was in middle school, we were driving along a very busy roadway when an apparently very elderly, extremely tiny woman came out of nowhere and drove her car head on into our lane. Fortunately, my quick reflexes prevented a tragedy. Test away. I will gladly submit to it.

  • alb

    Lets settle this right now! You have a history of accidents, tickets, DUI’s or whatever or being pulled over for driving to slow for safety then retest yearly or every 5 years depending on the offense. There are many people on cell phones,doing their makeup or hair and having oral sex while driving. Most younger drivers cause the accidents. No one of a younger age drives the legal limit anyway. Catch those speeders and drunks and take the lincense away!

    • JT

      ok an elderly drive could have a perfect driving record their whole life, doesnt mean theyll stay that way. they get old lose their vision, their mind, and reflexes. Sometimes they dont get in accidents because of the other drivers fast reflexes(like what GM said after you. Teens arent going to be having oral sex while retaking the drivers test, or on their cell phone or anything like that, if they are that should be an automatic fail. But the elderly on the other hand, they cannot control their vision, or their act of forgetfullness.
      My opinion is that when the elderly go to the Drs and theyre diagnosed with demtia or Alzheimers they should not be able to drive, and have legal action taken, no insurance or stuff like that. If the drs office diagnoses somebody that could really affect themselves and others while theyre driving, their license whould be taken away. every year have a checkup to see if theyre better.

  • jack surname

    Young Staten Island drivers, men in sedans and gals in SUV’s are the drivers to fear. The most dangerous driver on the road is the one behind you. They speed, tailgate and pass on the right.

  • Rick Smith

    The very worst drivers on the road are people using a cell phone while driving. Just about everyday I have a problem with a cell phone user on my way to work. Stiffen the penalties for these drivers.

  • Good Driver

    I am 63 and I have no qualms at all about being tested every 5 years. I think a lot of people my age and older are miserable drivers. I see so many people in their late 60’s and older that should not be behind the wheel. They are very indecisive, have poor reflexes and drive to slow for the conditions they are in.

  • Lis

    On 2/17/2011, I was one of 2 cars that was hit from behind by a 90yr old gentleman. What makes this so terrible was we were stopped at a red light. The 90yr old gentleman fail to or did not react fast enough and slam into us at full impact. The young lady behind me suffered total lost on her car, my car suffered internal and external damages. The point is if you add her age and my age together we don’t even add up to 60yrs of age. I have 2 young kids, I would hate for them to grow up without a mother. In short, us young people might not be perfect but in a majority of accidents that I witness in NJ it involves someone older. Please take the test so you can give us a chance to live to be 90yrs old.

  • badman

    I agree with the people here who say everyone should retest. Getting old is one way you can become a less competent driver, but it’s only one way.

    I’ll bet fully half and maybe more of the licensed drivers on the road would flunk the tests. And up the ante – if they do flunk, take them out back and shoot them. watch how quickly our roads become the safest in the world.

  • srs

    If you are capable, what does it matter if they test you? Nothing to worry about.

  • rafaell Lopez

    How many young drivers are involved in fatal accidents yearly?? Speeding, dui,or under the influence of drugs

  • Rafael Lopez

    I wonder how many fatal accidents are caused by young drivers, intoxicated driivers or drugged up young people

  • aacme

    My mom read about a terrible accident caused by a senior and quit driving at 88. The thing was, she was a good driver and desperately needed to be able to go to the mall, not far away on very quiet streets, and the only place she had driven for several years. Without driving her life went downhill fast.
    If she had been required to take a test to renew her license, she would have passed it and had the confidence to keep driving. Seniors who aren’t safe shouldn’t be driving. But those who are, should. A test sorts them out. Simple.

  • Willy

    Politicians don’t have the courage to pass age limits because seniors vote in high %s.

    • Kanolee

      That would also make the career Politicians take a test also

  • Gary Boy

    What do we do with those seniors who fail the test? They WILL continue to drive, of course, When we catch them, we will have to put them in jail. Is that what we want?

    • badman

      that’s actually a really good point, Gary. Maybe there would have to be enhanced public transport for seniors to accompany a law requiring them to re-test.

      otherwise, we could just “put them to sleep” if they insist on driving after they fail the test.

  • Tony Estrada


  • Steve M.

    Perhaps the problem might also be medications interfering with physical and mental perceptions and reflexes……Drunks are easy to spot; how about those that are strung out on legal meds?

  • BillyBob

    For some of you “PERFECT” drivers who are always in a rush to get somewhere, you should try driving in China…Now, that folks, would get some of you folks blood pressure way up.

  • Rob

    65 no…75 – 80 is more reasonable. Goodness, there is a reason you cannot even rent a car until you are 25. The younger and less experienced drivers are more of a hazzard on the roads.

    • BillyBob

      My mother is 81 and still drives better than most of the young people on the road.

  • scott

    it seems in the NYC area most of the catastrophic, often fatal accidents I read about are caused by reckless driving by the young and intoxicated, what’s being done about that?

  • nypj

    I think that it is important to retest people after a certain age. speed is not the only issue, in fact it would be a minor issue in my mind. REACTION TIME would be the highest priority. as people age they are not able to react as quickly to changing situations as they would when they were younger. I think that the age at which peoples abilities diminish varies from person to person. 65 may be young to retest everyone but i think that it is a good idea to ensure that those who are driving are safely able to do so

  • Steve M.

    How about just having everyone get retested every 3 or four years? And in the meantime, I’d like to see the actual test be made a lot tougher to pass. Perhaps with different levels of accreditation and restrictions depending upon your ability. Because as it stands now, once you get that license, the only ‘learning’ going on is self taught, on the street, usually at everyone else’s expense…

    • david11238

      Every driver living in NYC should take the Driver’s & Written every five years.Most of the reckless drivers I run into seem to be 40 & below, btw. NYC should also confiscate any cars without insurance. Both of these rules would lower insurance costs and save lives.

  • Ellen

    I have no problem with seniors retaking driving tests, in fact I see no problem with anyone of any age retaking driving tests. Yes, some seniors should not be behind the wheel of a car, and lets face it some 30 something should not be behind the wheel of a car also. Was’t it just the other week a 42 year old woman went crashing through a bakery. God, if she was 65 the you know what would have hit the fan.

  • Rossi

    everyone should take the test, whether you are 18, 48, or 81 yrs old.
    it is pretty common sight to see young drivers zooming at 80 to 100 mph, older people hogging the fast lane at 55 mph, and middle age drivers zigzagging in and out of lanes faster than the speed limit.

  • older driver

    Speed is not an issue. Old people drives slow just want to be save. Instead of suggesting for senior citizens to retake the test, I think there should be a law for every citizens to retake driving course every 15 years from when they received their driver licenses so all drivers have no excuses for not following driving rules.

  • Boosh Yarre

    I’ve encountered many seniors in my neighborhood that fail to stop at various stop signs. They think that just because they are seniors Stop signs do not apply to them.

  • Bill

    I have not reached 65 yet, but I can see how this is an issue. I know people who are 45 and they have more problems than others have at 75. It is not afge, it is the individual’s abilities. I see far more hotheads in their 20s and 30s on the roads causing problems. Everyone should retake the test every 5 years, no age limits, just everyone!

  • nana

    if the senior gets into a problem than yes retake the test,did any one give it a thought that they are not going slow but that you are driving to fast.most accidents are caused by the young, middle age, seniors are careful and considered, to the 85 year old who is still driving, drive to your hearts content.

  • ron

    Of course they want us off the road. I would say that 90% of drivers passing me AND using cell phones or putting on makeuip are females between the ages of 18-35. I’m doing speed limit of 75 on a turnpike. So, yes, maybe we are going to slow for them, but they are causing the accidents, not us!

    • Steve M.

      Speeding or going slow in of itself doesn’t cause accidents. Not knowing HOW and WHERE to drive fast causes them. Just as driving too slow for the conditions around you, regardless of the speed limit, can cause accidents….Stubbornly sticking to 75 in the left lane when others are going 85, is just as arrogant and dangerous as driving 85 in a 65 zone….You can tell the insurance company how ‘right’ you were when you fill out the accident report, but your car will still be ‘righteously’ wrecked…

  • mikeyg

    Yes older people drive slower because they are more cautious than younger drivers.just because you drive fast does not mean you know how to drive.
    look at insurance rates they are not higher for young drivers for no reason.
    And BTW I have been driving for 36 years without any accidents.I think older drivers should have a medical and eye test to see how good there health and sight is.

  • Star

    I did put yes, because I have had issues with elderly people going extremtly slow. But, I have had more issues with other people within different age groups. Of course, I don’t know their ages, though.

    No turn signals, cutting me off etc etc etc

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