Senate bill seeks vision, road test for drivers 75 and older

By Guy Page

Senate Bill 276 would require Vermonters 75 years of age or older to appear at the Vermont Dept. of Motor Vehicles in person and pass both a vision test and road test in order to renew an operator’s license.

Sponsored by Sen. Mark MacDonald (D-Orange), age 78, the bill was introduced Jan. 19 and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee. MacDonald is the bill’s lone sponsor. 

State law already permits DMV to require testing of elderly drivers seeking renewal. However, S276 would take the requirement one step further – all drivers over 75 would be required to pass the vision and road test. 

Other bills introduced into the Senate this week and assigned to committees include:

S.2731/19/2022Amending a birth certificate to reflect gender identity
S.2741/19/2022 joint meetings of town and village legislative bodies
S.2751/19/2022providing adoptees with access to adoption agency records
S.2771/19/2022motor vehicle efficiency feebates
S.2781/19/2022airport expansion and primary agricultural soil mitigation
S.2791/19/2022inadmissibility of statements gained by the use of deception by law enforcement during a custodial interrogation
S.2641/18/2022the Renewable Energy Standard
S.2651/18/2022expanding criminal threatening to include threats to third persons
S.2661/18/2022substance use disorder treatment and overdose prevention
S.2671/18/2022regulating cosmetic products containing certain chemicals and chemical classes and prohibiting the installation of athletic turf fields containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances
S.2681/18/2022the right to farm
S.2691/18/2022extending the Energy Savings Account Partnership Pilot Program
S.2701/18/2022Vermont Housing Regulation Modernization
S.2711/18/2022considerations in hospital sustainability planning
S.2721/18/2022entities required to comply with Vermont’s renewable energy programs

Categories: Legislation

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26 replies »

  1. I don’t know, but are they proposing this bill, as tool to help Vermont meet it’s carbon reduction goals? This is an important question to ask, due to the timing of this bill. A quick Google search revealed that about 6 percent of Vermont’s population, over 36,000 Vermonters, are 75 years old or older. How will these people access critical care and resources, like food. Possibly, another intent is to get seniors living in rural areas to relocate to more urban areas, which is a goal in line with the Globalist agenda. This outcome could also help the state to acquire rural real estate in order to meet their initiative of designating 50 percent of Vermont’s land for conservation. As you can see, I do not believe in coincidences.

    • Those were my thoughts as well.

      This is a way to FORCE elderly Vermonters out of their beloved homes without appearing to be forcing them out

      Vote them all out

      • Hi Richard! I came to the same conclusion, see my comment. Seniors would be forced to sell their homes and move to more urban communities with public transportation.

    • If we don’t think this good representation ,and I don’t, we should be letting our representatives know!

  2. There is one thing that is plentiful in Vermont and that is elderly voters. It’s time for them/us to take this personally and turn it into a partisan issue at the polls and be heard from. Republicans need to collectively get on board in opposition. While it may seem like a valid public safety issue on it’s face, anyone who spends any time on the highways of Vermont knows that it is younger folk driving recklessly and playing with their handheld digital toys that pose the greatest hazards to others. The biggest “problem” with older drivers is that they slow down the pace a bit, and what’s wrong with that?

  3. Well, let’s think about this. I would be most definitely against this if anyone else had sponsored it, but it’s Mark McDonald, Orange County Senator and that’s where I live. I think it should maybe be expanded to all voters because they elected him over and over again, a definite sign that they exercise poor judgment that might overflow into their driving habits and ability to rationally think things through like whether to turn “left” or “right”. Turning left all the time like Mark is not a safe way to operate on the road or off. If the folks that declare they are Democrats fail the eye test, they also should be denied the right to vote since it is obvious that they can’t see well and are making the wrong choice in the ballot box. Those taking Republican ballots will be exempt from this provision.

    • I fall into that age category…

      I propose an addition to the bill: A Speech and Hearing test.

      I loudly speak “Let’s go, McDonald!” and he is judged on what he does after hearing it…

  4. How many accidents happen that are caused by seniors over 75 versus how many accidents are caused by drug driving, drunk driving, speeding or driving while on a cellphone?
    I’d like to see some facts before you start further penalizing seniors because you have nothing else to do. Maybe Mr. McDonald needs a test..

    • Yup. The Elderly, particularly the poor which is a lot of older Vermonters with 65% of demographics being baby boomers in retirement now.
      Its targeting the elderly and a form of abuse.
      Its also…way over the top legislation.
      Mr. McDonald can afford lasik surgery, hearing aids, and glasses if need be. He can probably also afford a really nice set of denture as well.
      Most of the rest of us cannot.
      Let alone the licensing fee hikes to justify the extra work for the office and testers.
      But its jobs man.
      There’s also jobs at the gas chamber I hear.

  5. This is what happens when the patients run the asylum. More insanity from the left. They are all so afraid of life, it’s amazing that any of them venture outside at all. I’ll just add this to my lengthy list of reasons to get to hell out of here. This tiny state does not need any more laws. They hardly enforce any of the laws on the books now. How many have seen the Vermont Statutes collection? I know people 75 years old and older that are still riding motorcycles. Isn’t time that these nannys left us alone for awhile?

  6. Seems to me that our legislators are always in search of new laws to pas, new taxes to enact and new ways to deprive Vermonters of their freedoms. Perhaps we could request that they just end the 2022 legislative session right now before they do any more damage?

  7. I actually agree with this one! Been advocating for it for years. Not just seniors though. I think everyone could use a brushup on traffic laws every ten years or so. Id glady discuss..

  8. I’m as concerned about the guy I saw turning onto Shelburne Road while talking on a handheld cellphone with a dog on his lap as I am seniors. I’ve noticed another side effect of Covid is it has inhibited the ability of Chittenden County drivers to comprehend the cell phone law.

  9. how about the legislature only meet once a year, then all these endless ideas to come up with new laws to justify their jobs would cease!

    • Carla, I hope you meant once every two years. Think of the money it would save the state and the money tree wouldn’t be so attractive to those ego driven, shrimp cocktail party types. It would also limit the graft and specials favors received from lobbyists. Petition anyone? Maybe we could get this ball rolling.

  10. I am curious if Sen McDonald has thought this through. Not many towns have any sort of mass transit. How will the elders get to and from appointments, the grocery store or to their banks? Many don’t have family members close by. What does he propose to solve the problems this bill will create? I agree that some (but certainly not all) seniors may have issues that could complicate their driving skills but I would like to see some statistics on motor vehicle accidents – lets see some age demographics to determine which group really needs to be tested on their driving skills. I’m guessing that most of the accidents are happening within a much younger group. The biggest problem I see with this legislation is that our Senators are grasping at straws. They are so desperate to get their name on a bill that they make proposals without considering the ramifications. How about someone propose a bill to not propose anymore bills until a complete review and purge of all the old bills is completed. That would keep them busy for awhile and give us a break from some of these proposals.

    • You explained it thoroughly: democrats aren’t motivated by facts and real statistics, they are motivated by emotion and sensationalism…and the same can be said for those who vote for them.

  11. The elderly in this state are probably safer drivers than younger people driving and using their cell phones. Rushing around in their busy lives. The elderly don’t do this. This is just another way to force our precious elderly population out of their loved homes that they have cared for for their entire lives.

  12. The time is past due that the Orange county voters fire Senator McDonald. He’s another poster face for term limits. Kick these people to the curb so they aren’t around to meddle in everyones life. So sick of this crap.

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