From time to time, the buzz about a possible review of the deadlines for the renewal of the driving license among the elderly gains strength again. A controversial debate that has jumped back into the media. But, is it true that the DGT has a new measure to complicate the requirements for those over 65?
every five years. Currently, as reflected in the General Regulations for Drivers (Art.12.2), drivers between 18 and 65 years of age are required to renew their driving license every ten years. Once this barrier has been overcome, renewals take place every five years. In the case of professional drivers, over 65 years of age, the renewal is every three years.
Changes? The DGT has been warning for some time that these deadlines are excessive for the most veteran drivers. Although has regained strength in recent weeks, the truth is that the statements collected by some media point to a few words that María José Aparicio, deputy director of the DGT, made last November.
“We know that in the case of people of a certain age we will have to reduce them,” Aparicio said at the Road Week (Road Safety Week), an event organized by the Foundation of the National Confederation of Driving Schools (CNAE). “We have to protect the elderly, but always promoting their mobility, safety and freedom,” said the director of the DGT at the time.
Nonagenarians. Also in the month of November, Pere Navarro, director of the DGT, targeted nonagenarians and centenarians in a speech in the Congress of Deputies. Then it was dropped that nonagenarians and centenarians could shorten the terms when it comes to renewing the driving license, which is currently five years.
with restrictions. The truth is that, even if they approve the renewal of the driver’s license, 81% of those over 65 receive some type of restriction. These are cases in which the driver is prohibited from driving beyond a certain number of kilometers from his home, he is restricted in schedules, speed or even the roads on which he drives.
International. The special measures for driving licenses for the elderly are not only a Spanish case. In the United Kingdom, the driver’s license is automatically withdrawn from those over 70 years of age and they are the ones who have to appear for its renewal. In Denmark, Italy, Ireland or Portugal, the renewal terms are also shorter than in Spain.
Belgium, Sweden, Germany or France, for example, do not have special procedures for older drivers not to ask any other driver. And the reason is that everything depends on the bias with which we look at the data.
What does it depend on? In the aforementioned November 2021 sessions, María José Aparicio assured the following: “In Spain in 2019, 28% of those who died in traffic accidents were over 65 years of age. These figures are going to get worse if we do nothing due to the aging of the population. But, nevertheless, we know that the elderly are only immersed in 12% of the accidents and collide four times less than the youngest.
The reason for higher mortality is closely linked to their own age, but it must also be taken into account that the elderly have older vehicles. In addition, they adapt less well to the most modern security systems. With the obligation to have the new ADAS driving assistance systems, what should be a substantial improvement for the elderly can become another source of anxiety, with a multitude of sensors, whistleblowers and alerts that, contrary to its objective make it difficult for them to drive.
“no news”. And despite the fact that a good part of the experts point out that the deadlines for the renewal of the driving license are excessive when they are over 65 years old and the medical examinations are too lax, from the DGT they confirm that there is nothing firm to change the deadlines. “The news is that there is no news, there is nothing about a new measure.”
In fact, from the agency they emphasize to us that the last thing that has been proposed is a complete restructuring of all driving licences, such as the possibility of incorporating a new license for those under 18 years of age. However, it seems that a change in the deadlines for the elderly will have to wait, in a debate that seems to go on forever.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism