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AARP Illinois, Lawmakers and Older Adults Call for End to Discriminatory Driving Law 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                
April 16, 2024

CONTACT:
Monika Wnuk, Associate State Director, Communications

(773) 742-3743 mwnuk@aarp.org
 

AARP Illinois, Lawmakers and Older Adults Call for End to Discriminatory Driving Law 

Illinois Is the Only State that Mandates Extra Test for Drivers Over 75

 
Springfield – The right to drive should be based on ability and not age, state lawmakers, AARP Illinois and older adults said at a press conference Tuesday.

Senator Donald DeWitte (R-33), Representative Jeff Keicher (R-76), AARP Illinois Senior Director of Advocacy and Outreach Ryan Gruenenfelder and older adults urged support for a bill that would end a mandatory extra road test for drivers over 75 years of age. Illinois is the only state in the nation that has this requirement.

“AARP Illinois has heard for years from our members about how this law disproportionately affects older drivers and perpetuates false narratives about their driving abilities,” said AARP Illinois Senior Director of Advocacy and Outreach Ryan Gruenenfelder. “The research clearly shows that older drivers are the safest drivers on our roadways, and we believe that singling them out to take an extra test is a type of age discrimination and has to end.”

An Illinois Department of Transportation report released in 2022 showed virtually no change in crash rates for drivers 75 and older, with a crash rate of 24.39 per 1,000 drivers, which is lower than every age range of drivers between 16 and 69 years old.

HB 4431 calls for an amendment to the Illinois Vehicle Code that would remove the extra road test requirement that applies only to drivers over 75.

“Illinois is the last state to mandate this antiquated test under an unfounded assumption about older drivers,” said Senator Donald DeWitte (R-33). “It’s time to remove this unnecessary burden placed on millions of Illinoisans.”

“Every day, drivers over 75 years of age are capably and safely driving their grandchildren to school, picking up groceries and prescriptions, and driving to their doctor’s visits, just like the rest of us” said Representative Jeff Keicher (R-76). “There is simply no evidence to show that they need an extra test to do these things and it’s about time we remove this requirement.”

“As an older driver I find it tedious to have to take more tests since I turned 75,” said Candice Trees, an AARP Illinois volunteer. “I’ve been a safe driver my entire life, nothing has changed, and it’s unfair that my friends and I have to take an extra test when older drivers are the safest drivers on the road.”

HB 4431 heads to a vote on the House floor this week.

For more information about HB 4431, visit www.aarp.org/IL.

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About AARP

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment.

 

 



 

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