While the new Traffic Law is still in process, the DGT It is already considering more news for the future in the short and medium term. And among its proposals is that of reduce deadlines for renew driver’s license in conductors over 65 years.
A) Yes has advanced it María José Aparicio, deputy director of Road Education and Training of the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), in addition to the fact that this proposal is included in the Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030.
And it is that according to Traffic data, 28% of those killed in traffic accidents are over 65 years old. In addition, drivers over 65 years of age represent 15% of the census of motorists, but given the trend towards an increasingly aging population, it will increase in the coming years: in 2035 they are expected to represent 26.5% of the total population. compared to 19% today.
On the other hand, the DGT also contemplates review psychotechnical and physical tests that apply to older drivers, in order to adjust to their reality. Not surprisingly, these tests to renew the driving license are the same for all drivers, regardless of age.
Now it’s every five years for the car license
To date, the regulations require that the renewal of the driver’s license for people over 65 is carried out in the following terms:
- AM, A1, A2, A and B permissions: each five years.
- Permisos C, C1, D, D1, EC, EC1, ED, ED1 etc.: cada three years.
In other words, for cars and motorcycles, it must be renewed every five years, while for heavier vehicles, the term is set at three.
Thus, the objective of the DGT is set intervals more adapted “to the psychophysical evolution of people”. Aparicio considers that the current term is excessive and that the idea is to “subdivide” this “excessively broad and diverse” group since “a term of five years for a person of 90 is a lot.”
However, it will not be immediate: to change the current fork a study is going to be carried out in order to determine how to adapt the validity periods to reality and based on different ages from 65 years of age.
That is, at the moment the reform does not have an arrival date as such, as the new intervals have not been determined either that are intended to apply. However, it would represent an advance that has been claimed for a long time by road safety entities.
More likely to suffer a road accident and less psychophysical capacity
It cannot be denied that, in general, the older the driver, the more the psychophysical conditions of a driver decrease. For example, according to the Barometer of Road Health in the Elderly prepared by the Foundation for Road Safety (Fesvial), it is concluded that this age group is considered at risk given that:
- A driver over 65 has three times more chances of dying in an accident than a young man of 20.
- Between 2011 and 2015, number of accidents with victims of this group has increased from 12,288 to 17.205.
- Older people – especially the subgroup of those between 85 and 99 years old – do less seat belt use as your age increases.
- Despite the fact that they hardly use their mobile phones behind the wheel, they incur offenses such as not respecting the stops, safety distance or maximum permitted speed.
Precisely another study recently published by Fesvial, where the term ‘viejennials’ has been coined, it is noted that those over 64 years of age have a +169% probability of skipping a Stop. And it is not the only one, they are also 41% more likely to commit infractions at an intersection and 19% more likely to suffer side, front-to-side and rear-end collisions.
That is why Fesvial applauds the review of these deadlines, as well as the requirements to pass the tests that allow the renewal of the card to elderly people. They mark it as “step forward.”
In short, as Fesvial recalls, the results indicate that from 75 years begin to emerge psychophysical problems and many times they are detected by the driving mode.
And it is that as years progress, conditions such as mobility, the visual acuity o la neural transmission speed it is noticeably reduced, which de facto affects driving. To which is added that they are usually subject to more medication than younger drivers.
On the other hand, a study at the University of Granada points out that men under 25 years of age -in the first place- and those over 65 are the ones who more collateral victims cause in road accidents.
There are currently in Spain a total of 4.1 million older drivers, of which 1.4 million are over 74 years old. For its part, the bulk is concentrated in the 65 to 69 age group, according to 2018 data from the DGT.
The same tests for a 25-year-old driver as for one over 70
For the renewal of the driving license, the medical examination performed on people over 65 does not differ than applicable to younger drivers. In general, medical centers tend to test, and not very exhaustively, the following areas:
- Assessment of visual ability.
- Vision check.
- Assessment of hearing ability.
- Ears check.
- Psychotechnical test to measure anticipation of speed and visual-motor coordination (these are the outdated tests carried out with the computer).
- General medical analysis. Checking blood pressure, pulse and routine cardiopulmonary auscultation.
- Anamnesis. Information provided by the patient himself during the examination.
These coordination tests are known to be quite lax and, unless the result is outrageously negative, the usual thing is to pass it.
This was demonstrated, for example, by a study by the Línea Directa Foundation, ‘Over 65 years at the wheel: real danger or social myth?’, Which postulated that 98% of drivers say they have never failed a psycho-technical test and 9% acknowledge having obtained the Apt practically without doing so.
In addition to this common drain, more demanding tests are proposed for older drivers, as well as, for example, a previous health report, since the trend, according to María Pérez y Pérez, representative of the General Council of Medical Colleges, is that of “hide” the disease or to “exaggerate the bonanza” when it comes to this recognition.
The problem is that this review, which has been raised several times, contradicts the right mobility and free movement. Not in vain, the Fesvial itself has pointed out a mix in the measures that are adopted since the World Health Organization (WHO) declares that driving is a citizen’s freedom.
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