Several New Driving Laws In Effect - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/1/07

Several New Driving Laws In Effect

Lawmakers efforts in Austin are being felt across the state, as hundreds of new laws are now in effect. Several of the new laws are driving laws, with one specific to senior citizens safety.

One of those laws is House Bill 84, better known as Katie's law. Representative Delwin Jones tells NewsChannel 11 the bill quickly moved through the house. He says many were concerned not just for the safety of elderly drivers, but for all on Texas roads.

Living in Post, Terry is no stranger to sitting behind the wheel. Terry says he has been driving since he was 10 on the farm, and as he edges toward 70, Terry says his driving is not affected.

"It's the same, I take a yearly physical," Terry said.

However, that is not the case for all, which is why lawmakers gave a thumbs up to Katie's law.

"Unfortunately with age usually vision declines and many people would have a long term license in place and not have good enough vision that they should have to be on the road," Representative Delwin Jones said.

Starting Saturday, those 79 and older will have to renew their license in person, and drivers 85 and older must renew their license every two years, instead of every six along with passing a vision test.

"If they don't pass there are other alternatives again we'll look at. If they have an eye doctor they see regularly and they explain some of the things are happening with their vision," Department of Public Safety Corporal John Gonzalez said. 

So if you are 79 years or older and need to renew your license, you have to go to the DPS office at 1302 Mac Davis Lane.

"That will bring them into the office because not only are we looking at their vision. We're looking at their capability of safely operating a motor vehicle," Gonzalez added.

Driver Brenda Prather says will improve road safety for all.

"They'll be more aware of what's going on around them," Prather said.

Corporal Gonzalez says in the end, if a senior does not pass their vision test a Texas Identification card can be issued for $10.  A two year license will cost drivers $8.

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