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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

The number of centenarian drivers might surprise you

Wondering why that motorist in the lane beside you looks so old?

Could be because they are.

New state figures show there's 110 licensed drivers in Washington who, as of Jan. 10, are at least 100 years old. They are among the 2,394 state residents 95 and older who are still licensed drivers.

SR reporter Chelsea Bannach stumbled onto the figures today while working on an upcoming article about organ donors. As part of the reporting for that article, she had requested figures from the state Department of Licensing about the number of motorists who list organ donor on their drivers licenses.

The agency sent a list showing the statewide numbers by age and gender. And the columns kept going and going and going. The list stopped at drivers who are 100 years old.

By the way, most motorists in their 90s are not organ donors, according to the state figures, a pattern that holds for both men and women. Move up a couple decades, however, and the number of licensed drivers in their 70s who are organ donors easily outnumbers those who aren't.

Look for Bannach's article this weekend.

David Wasson oversees coverage of politics and state and local government and assists with editing on the City Desk.

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