Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Click here to read more about elderly drivers
To get a driving license in Malaysia, you have to be 17 years old and in Singapore, it's 18. Is there an upper age limit beyond which elderly drivers would not be able to renew their driving license?

Apparently, no. You can drive till you decide you want to stop, or till your family takes away your car keys as they consider you a safety hazard not only to other road users but also to yourself. Believe it or not, in the US, there are drivers who are well into their 80s and 90s, and driving around confidently. They are not about to surrender their car keys yet.

When you have been driving for the past 40 or more years, it is a tough decision to voluntarily give it up and depend on others to get around. But would you have the physical capability and mental alertness to continue driving? How quick are your reflexes on the road? What about your spouse and your grandchildren who are your most frequent passengers? Would they be safe with you at the steering wheel?

In Singapore, there is an age limit for taxi drivers. Over the past years, this limit has been raised from 70 to the current 75. They have to undergo tests before they can renew their driving license. This is to ensure they don't put themselves and their passengers at risk, and be able to respond quickly should anything untoward happen on the road.

Whether it's driving taxis, buses or trucks, raising the age limit allows these drivers to continue supporting themselves financially and not be a burden to their families. For retirees, being able to drive yourself anywhere you want to go gives you a sense of freedom and independence, not to mention convenience.

But if you have had a few close calls on the road of late, you might want to think twice when it comes time to renew your driving license.

Related post

Are ageing drivers a hazard on the road?

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