Getting a driver's license could get harder for elderly drivers in our state. A bill introduced in the House of Representatives this week would require older drivers to renew their licenses more frequently. Trudy Kincaid is 82 years old and she recently renewed her license. All she had to do, "tell them what different signs meant, and that was about it," she said. "It was very easy." She thinks changing the driver's license law would make the road safer for other drivers like her. She said she knows older drivers, including herself, need to be extra careful. "I think that there are times when we see [traffic situations], but we don't see." she said. If the law changes, those aged 75 and older would have to reapply every two years, those 85 and older, every year. Older drivers do have physical limitations to consider when behind the wheel. "Probably the biggest thing you see with elderly drivers is, it's just a fact of life that reaction time is going to slow down," NC Highway Patrol First Sgt. J.O. Holmes said. Traffic volume and congestion in Wilmington can also be a problem for older drivers. "There's so much stop and go traffic, just an extra second or two hesitation can make a big difference whether you're involved in a collision or not," Holmes said. Kincaid said she tries to avoid difficult traffic situations. "If it's at all possible, I try to take a right turn," she said. "I'll go out of my way to make a right turn, rather than a left turn into traffic." If lawmakers support the bill, changes will not happen immediately. The bill still has to go through the House Transportation Committee.
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