Ask the Governor - 3/30/16
(Patrick Lavery/ Townsquare Media NJ)

Gov. Chris Christie doesn’t “think it’s a bad idea” to require older drivers to retake road tests in order to keep their licenses.

And while he thinks lawmakers, fearing the wrath of older voters, wouldn’t jump on the idea, the Assembly transportation chairman said he’d be open to considering such a measure.

Christie expressed some support for such a requirement during Wednesday’s “Ask the Governor” on New Jersey 101.5

“It’s something we should all be concerned about,” he said in response to caller who was frustrated with some older drivers on Ocean County roads. “I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea. Now, of course, I’m only 53, so maybe if I was 63 I’d think it was a lousy idea.”

After the broadcast, Assemblyman John Wisniewski, D-Middlesex, told Politico New Jersey that the idea is “something we ought to discuss,” but didn’t say whether he’d support such legislation.

Data show that teens and older drivers are most at risk for being involved in serious and fatal car accidents, but the increased risk for older drivers is mostly due to their susceptibility to injuries rather than a reflection of their driving habits, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes.

The AARP, which advocates for older people, has long opposed added requirements for older drivers as discriminatory.

Twenty states have shorter renewal periods for older drivers and 18 require more frequent vision testing for older drivers. Fifteen states and Washington, D.C., don't allow older drivers to renew by mail or online.

Washington, D.C., requires drivers 70 and older to get a doctor's approval to renew their licenses while Illinois requires drivers older than 75 to take a road test whenever they renew.

New Jersey's license four-year license renewal period is the same for all drivers, and drivers have to be vision tested once every 10 years.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips at Follow him on Twitter and Facebook