At what age should the elderly stop driving?
It TMs a question that TMs being raised, after a 75 year old Waco man was found in Raymondville.
Larry Jones who suffers from dementia, had no idea he was in the Rio Grande Valley when DPS troopers pulled him over, for driving to slow on the expressway.
We posed the question to State Representative Rene Oliveira who said, the elderly have their rights and we should respect that. He does admit the incident was a dangerous one.
Oliveira said "Regretfully, he could have been a danger to himself and perhaps to others depending on how severe the dementia was."
He says, those suffering from this type of condition should also not be driving alone, in fact state law requires they have a guardian with them at all times, especially if behind the wheel.
Oliveira said "It seems curious that he had a drivers license still and was still driving a vehicle." Action 4 checked the DPS Texas website regarding laws for elderly drivers and while there are no age limits, the website does state, DPS may revoke the driver license of any individual found to be medically incapable of safely operating a motor vehicle.
However, the issues may first have to be reviewed by the medical advisory board (MAB).
The most common ways an individual is referred to MAB are:The individual self-reports his/her medical condition. DPS refers an individual due to the medical evaluation conducted at the driver license office. The individual has multiple convictions for alcohol or drugs on their driver record. Law enforcement, a physician or a private citizen has cause for concern and reports an individual to DPS for a MAB referral. In this particular incident, State representative Oliveira, doesn't believe laws need to change.
But rather he feels it TMs the responsibility of those looking out for those who suffer from conditions like dementia; to keep a closer eye on their loved ones.
Oliveira said "Our elderly should be taken care of they took care of us in many instances and we should be returning the favor."
For more information you can log on to http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverLicense/elderlydrivers.htm