Currently, the elderly can renew their motorist license for 5 years without needing to undergo medical checkups or tests to determine their driving ability.
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According to NST, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) wants the issuance of senior citizens’ drivers licenses to be restricted.
Apparently, there are a high number of traffic accidents on the road due to the health condition of elderly motorists, which often impacts their driving ability.
Older, wiser, but also shakier
These health issues can indirectly cause problems such as when a senior citizen drove into a motorcycle lane.
Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Datuk Azisman Alias also suggested that senior citizens should be required to undergo a doctor’s examination to ensure that they are fit to operate vehicles independently and drive on the roads.
Currently, driver’s licenses last for up to 5 years at each renewal. According to Azisman, this means a 70-year-old senior citizen will be able to drive for 5 years even if they have health conditions that may affect their driving abilities.
With great age comes great pains
Older people are more susceptible to health conditions that affect motor skills, reaction speed, and hand-eye coordination, all which are key requirements for safe driving.
Common diseases such as Alzheimer’s and eye problems like glaucoma are among the health issues faced by elderly motorists.
And as we all know, elderly motorists can be quite stubborn and insist on driving even when they really, really shouldn’t. (Anyone who has had to talk to their elderly family members about maybe not driving on their own will know what I’m talking about.)
Still, it may be even more of an issue to take away the elderly’s independence and freedom of movement.
However, a stronger public transportation system would alleviate these problems and allow the elderly to continue living their lives while also getting off of the roads.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.