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House mulls studying road test regs for older drivers

CONCORD - Lawmakers are considering studying if elderly drivers should take road tests to renew their driver's licenses.

House Bill 263 would establish a six-member committee of House and Senate members to study if the state should reinstate road tests for elderly drivers.

A 2011 law eliminated regular road tests for drivers 75 and older.

Until then, the state required the road tests as well as vision tests for elderly drivers.

The genesis of HB 263 was an accident killing two motorcyclists last summer who were in a memorial run for a fallen soldier, Army Spc. Justin Rollins of Newport, who was killed in a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007. The motorcyclists were killed when they were hit by a car driven by an 87-year-old man who also died in the accident.

The widow of one of the men, Bette Champney, testified before House Transportation Committee this week at a public hearing on the bill, sponsored by Rep. Tara Sad, D-Walpole.

The committee meets Tuesday to decide what recommendation it will make on the bill before the House acts on it.

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