Elderly drivers may need to take test in order to keep licence

PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

A damning World Health Organisation says Thailand’s roads continue to be some of the most dangerous in the world, with an average of 22,491 road deaths a year. Now the Department of Land Transport is considering the introduction of a test for elderly drivers in possession of a lifetime licence. Lifetime drivers’ licences were issued up until 2003, when the practice was dropped.

The proposal, which is backed by Thailand’s Development Research Institute, would see elderly drivers split into different age categories. They would be required to undergo mandatory hearing and eyesight tests as well as a driving test. They would need to pass both the physical tests and the driving test in order to keep their lifetime licence.

Sumet Ongkittikul from the TDRI says the proposal has been under consideration for some time, amid ongoing concern over road safety. He says drivers over the age of 70 are of particular concern, as their hearing and eyesight will almost certainly have deteriorated from when they first got their licence, making them a possible risk to public safety. He suggests starting with this group and possibly expanding the tests to drivers aged 65 and over, adding that those under 60 should be exempt, in order to save costs.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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