According to Brussels’ plans, all driving licences across Europe are to be valid for 15 years, instead of the previous 10 years. Renewal is to take place online. And from the age of 70, driving licences will only be issued for 5 years.
The idea behind this is that by 2050 there should be no more road deaths in the EU, and by 2030 the number should already be halved.
If you look at the traffic statistics, however, you quickly see that it is not the over-70s who cause serious road accidents, but mainly younger drivers.
In any case, the calendar age says little about how roadworthy someone is.
Advanced age does not automatically mean an increase in the risk of accidents. It has to do with the occurrence of diseases and the individual’s ability to perform.
For example, about 1/5 of all medications can have an impact on driving ability, including painkillers, colds, anti-allergics. Diabetes can have an effect, if I have knee problems, I can’t brake powerfully.
And of course we urgently need alternatives to the car!
On-demand systems are particularly important so that older people with limited mobility can make the last kilometre home without a car. This is the prerequisite for switching from the car to bus and train.
The offer of voluntary free driving checks must be expanded.
And if we consider driving so dangerous that we want to rely on compulsory tests, then please do so for all age groups – and not just for the older ones who cause the fewest accidents.
We European Green Seniors reject restricting mandatory tests to the 70-plus agegroup as a clear case of age discrimination.
So far, tests for driving ability are not generally planned by the EU. Instead countries themselves could make decisions to test or not.
We strongly recommend to make appropriate, frequent driving ability testing offers voluntary und free of charge to all.
1.5.23, European Green Seniors