Friday, June 14, 2024

EU driver’s license change: proof of fitness to drive from the age of 70?

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Brussels – The European Union is pursuing an ambitious goal: by 2050, there should be no more road deaths in the EU, and by 2030 the number should even be halved. Given the current statistics – 20.600 road deaths in 2022, an increase from the previous two years of the pandemic – this is a daunting challenge. In order to achieve the goal, the EU is planning a comprehensive driver’s license reform to improve road safety. One of the planned measures: Drivers over 70 years of age should in future every five years have to prove their fitness to drive.

Proof of fitness to drive from the age of 70

In Germany there is currently no regular check of senior citizens’ fitness to drive. After passing the driving test, the driving license is usually valid for life. However, in certain cases, the authorities can question a person’s fitness to drive and order a review by an assessor, who can then revoke the driver’s license if necessary. Seniors also have the option of voluntarily surrendering their driver’s license or organizing an assessment of their fitness to drive.

In view of the importance of driving for independence and mobility, many seniors find this step difficult. Nevertheless, there are more and more demands for regular driving tests for older drivers. In some EU countries, such tests for drivers over 70 are already common. The EU is now planning to do this for mandatory for member states.

Valid for 15 years throughout the EU in the future?

The European Commission’s draft law stipulates that future driving licenses should be valid for 15 years across the EU instead of the previous ten years. In addition, the introduction of digital driving licenses is planned to enable online renewal. For all over 70-year-olds, however, only driving licenses with a validity of five years be issued to enable regular driving tests.

EU driver's license change: proof of fitness to drive from the age of 70?

However, the exact type of review should continue to be determined by the member states. You could leave it up to drivers themselves to confirm their fitness to drive when they renew their driving licences. However, should it become apparent during the processing of the formalities that the applicant may no longer meet the medical requirements, a medical examination can be carried out angeordnet become. In this case, an expert would have to check the applicant’s fitness to drive.

minimum medical requirements:

The medical requirements for obtaining or renewing a driver’s license are varied. Below is a summary of the criteria:

  • Drivers need at least 0,5 visual acuity, with glasses or contact lenses
  • Epileptics may only have or keep a driver’s license if they have been seizure-free for a year; regular medical examinations are required unless they have not had seizures for five years
  • Driving licenses are not issued to people with severe cognitive or intellectual disabilities, including age-related changes
  • In the case of cardiovascular diseases, a medical certificate of fitness to drive is required
  • If an eye disease is present, regular medical checks of the eyesight are required
  • No license if you have a musculoskeletal disorder that affects driving
  • Diabetics should have their fitness to drive checked every ten years
  • People who frequently suffer from severe hypoglycaemia should not (any longer) have a driver’s license
  • In the case of neurological complaints, a medical certificate of fitness to drive is required (especially for apnea patients)
  • Driver’s licenses are not issued to people who regularly consume alcohol or drugs

In many of these situations, fitness to drive is already being checked by doctors in Germany. This also applies to cases of dementia or Alzheimer’s.

EU driver's license change: proof of fitness to drive from the age of 70?

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