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New Jersey hit-and-run suspect surrenders after car is tracked

April 04, 2014

Qualified drivers receive licenses or renewals from the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles – vision tests are mandatory for all drivers. The DMV reserves the right to place restrictions on any state driver with confirmed mental or physical conditions that limit driving ability. The state must be aware of the problem before it can act.

An 83-year-old man surrendered to police after Howell authorities spent weeks investigating a fatal hit-and-run accident. The collision in Monmouth County involved a 58-year-old male bicyclist, who was struck from behind and died of his injuries. Police stated the driver never stopped after the auto accident; nj.com reported evidence left behind helped investigators find the car and the driver.

Authorities used pieces of a broken headlight assembly left at the scene to track down and seize a Lexus owned by the defendant. The elderly man was cited for traffic infractions and charged with second-degree knowingly leaving the scene of a crash resulting in death. The punishment for violating the New Jersey statute carries a prison term of up to 10 years.

Senior citizens aren’t necessarily poor drivers compared to everyone else. However, studies referenced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate older drivers are prone to age-related physical, reasoning, memory and vision problems that may diminish driving ability. Some seniors try to maintain driving independence by disguising problems that could restrict or invalidate a driver’s license.

Some New Jersey drivers undergo medical fitness reviews, if unsafe driving practices are suspected or reported. The DMV may reevaluate a driver’s abilities after receiving a report from a police officer, a physician or a concerned family member. Restrictions may limit driving to daylight hours, off-peak traffic times or roads other than highways.

An elderly driver who knowingly hides a health condition is dismissive of other people’s safety. The behavior may have criminal and civil consequences.

Source: Asbury Park Press, “Howell cops charge 83-year-old Holocaust survivor in death of bicyclist” Stephanie Loder, Apr. 02, 2014

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