PETALING JAYA: Refusing to grant driving licences to the elderly based on their age and on isolated or anecdotal evidence is discriminatory, transport minister Wee Ka Siong said.
In responding to a call for the issuance of driving licences to senior citizens to be restricted, Wee said that a broader and more holistic view should be considered instead of basing it on age alone.
This included the need for mobility and other socio-economic factors, such as driving to earn a living or for visits to clinics.
“Withdrawing or limiting a valid licence to any individual, based solely on their age, should be a matter of last resort and only after assessing a person’s fitness.
“Many drivers far above the age of 70 display greater competence in driving compared to those who are younger,” he said in a statement.
On the proposal to limit the issuance of motor vehicle licences (LKM), better known as road tax, to the same group based on their age, Wee said it could lead to a person merely borrowing a vehicle to circumvent any such rule.
Wee said many, especially those in rural areas, relied on motorcycles as their only mode of transport, he added.
Wee said any related policy change to the driving licence or road tax must be handled systematically and must be based on evidence.
“Simply refusing a driver the means to drive or ride on the basis of their age or based on isolated or anecdotal evidence is discriminatory.”
Yesterday, Bukit Aman traffic police chief Azisman Alias called for driving licences issued to senior citizens to be restricted to reduce the number of accidents on the road.
He said such accidents involving senior citizens were due to drivers suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or eye problems and said they should undergo medical tests.
Azisman also said the practice of issuing a driving licence for five years for senior citizens was also unsuitable.
Inspector-General of Police Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani has since said the call by Azisman was his personal opinion and any such proposal will only be considered after taking into account the views of all stakeholders.Internet Explorer Channel Network