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The DGT will make it more difficult to renew the card for those over 65 years of age. The same psychotechnic for everyone is over

The debate about deadlines and tests for renew the card in elderly drivers It has been on the table for a long time. And it is now definitive: the DGT will modify this procedure between this 2022 and 2023, being among the framed measures of the 2030 Road Safety Strategy.

A demand that has been recurring from road safety organizations, which consider the current deadline is too long for older than 65 years. On the other hand, the psychophysical tests to pass this procedure are the same for all drivers, whether they are a 28-year-old or an elderly person over 90 years of age.

Thus, the DGT has confirmed that will shorten the deadlines for renewal for drivers over 65 years of age and in turn will also apply a more rigorous psychotechnical. But above all, it has already set a date: the measure will arrive before 2023.

Terms of less than five years and different intervals

elderly car driver

Today, drivers over 65 years of age they already have lower deadlines applied that of the bulk of drivers who, depending on the type of permit and vehicle, range between 10 and five years.

Thus, from 65 years of age, motorists must submit to this procedure at the following intervals, which also vary by type of vehicle:

  • Permits AM, A1, A2, A and B: each five years (cars, motorcycles, mopeds…).
  • Permits C, C1, D, D1, EC, EC1, ED, ED1 etc.: each three years (trucks, heavy industrial, buses…).

At the moment the DGT has confirmed that the term will be shortened, but it will detail how much. They could also set different intervalsadapted “to the psychophysical evolution” of the drivers, that is to say “subdivide” that “excessively broad and diverse” group, according to Traffic.

For example, the Foundation for Road Safety (Fesvial), one of the organizations that has been calling for this reform for some time, considers that people over 70 years of age they should go to renew the card every two years.

Be that as it may, we will have to wait for the DGT to define them, for which it will carry out a study in order to adapt the validity times to reality and based on different ages from 65 years.

Tests more suitable for older drivers

elderly car driver

Beyond the intervals, to renew the driving license it is essential undergo psychophysical tests.

And unlike what happens with deadlines, these are homogeneous for all drivers despite the fact that, in general, psychophysical conditions such as visual acuity or reflexes tend to decrease the older one gets.

In general, medical centers usually test, and it is true that in a not very exhaustive way, the following areas:

  • Assessment of visual capacity.
  • Vision check.
  • Hearing capacity assessment.
  • Ear check.
  • Psychotechnical test to measure the anticipation of speed and visual-motor coordination (these are the outdated tests carried out with the computer).
  • General medical analysis. Checking of blood pressure, pulse and routine cardio-pulmonary auscultation.
  • Anamnesis. Information provided by the patient himself during the examination.

This medical exam has a reputation for being quite laxso unless the result is outrageously negative, it is usual to pass it.

medical consultation

This was shown, for example a study by the Fundación Línea Directa‘Over 65s at the wheel: real danger or social myth?’, which postulated that 98% of drivers say they have never failed a psychometric test and 9% acknowledge having obtained the Apt practically without doing so.

And to this is added another problem, as Fesvial points out: a large majority of those over 65 (half), have prescribed an average of five daily medications and some of them are incompatible with driving.

Furthermore, in addition to the laxity of the tests, there is the fact that there are drivers who tend to hide illnesses or exaggerate bonanzas in order to obtain renewal and be able to continue driving. This does not only apply to the elderly.

This could be solved with the requirement to present a previous health report. Something that does not happen now. Another solution is for data to be crossed between Health and the DGT: for example in France or Sweden, if the doctor detects that a patient develops a pathology that can affect driving, he informs the traffic authorities.

Again, Traffic does not detail what the tests for the elderly will be like, beyond pointing out that medical-psychological examination protocols will be updated in Driver Recognition Centers in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Spanish Society of Traffic Medicine.

It is therefore about finding a balance between ensuring that older drivers have sufficient physical abilities to get behind the wheel, without endangering their lives or that of other users, but at the same time not undermining their right to mobility free movement.

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I started to play with tech since middle school. Smart phones, laptops and gadgets are all about my life. Besides, I am also a big fan of Star War. May the force be with you!

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