Status: 21.09.2023, 10:38 a.m.
By: Teresa Toth
The EU wants to introduce an amendment to the driving licence regulations. The European Automobile Clubs (EAC) are angry about this.
Munich – The EU Parliament is debating new driving licence directives. As early as 2023, there were a number of driver's license changes that affected thousands of drivers. Now further regulations could follow, which would mainly affect seniors and novice drivers. On the part of the European Automobile Clubs (EAC) – an association of six automobile clubs from four countries – it hailed fierce criticism for this.
Change in driver's license guidelines: Seniors should have to take tests
The EU's latest draft provides for a time limit on driving licences for older people. After initially debating limiting the validity of papers for people aged 70 and over to five years, there is now a proposal for a further time limit for people aged 60 and over: they should receive their driving licence for a period of seven years. The driver's license for seniors aged 80 and over is only valid for two years.
- The draft contains the following proposals, among others:
- Limitation of driving licences for people aged 60 and over to seven years
- Limitation of driving licences for people aged 70 and over to five years
- Limitation of driving licences for people aged 80 and over to two years
- Introduction of a new category of driving licence – category B+ for cars over 1800 kilos
In order to be able to remain mobile after the deadline, the draft provides for a new application for a driver's license. In order for those affected to receive the certificate, they must undergo medical and psychological tests. These are intended to determine the fitness to drive. The proposed amendments are contained in the draft report recently published by rapporteur Karima Delli.
Criticism of EU plans for driving licences: "Blanket restrictions go too far"
The majority of EAC members resolutely reject such a time limit for reasons of age alone and the introduction of legally mandatory medical health checks to check fitness to drive. Although they would support efforts to improve road safety, "blanket restrictions on seniors go too far," says EAC President Holger Küster. Instead, voluntary roadworthiness checks and accompanying advisory measures should be promoted.
Seniors in particular would be affected by the proposed changes to the driver's license. (Symbolic image) © Felix Kästle/dpa
The introduction of a new driving licence class B+ for cars weighing more than 1800 kilos proposed by the EU is also out of touch with reality. This would mainly affect novice drivers: According to the proposed amendments, they would be allowed to drive at the earliest from 21 cars weighing over 1800 kilos – SUVs would therefore be taboo for the time being. But according to the EAC, modern vehicles such as e-cars also often exceed the aforementioned weight limit.
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Driver's license change: E-cars often exceed the weight limit specified in the draft
For Küster, this is the wrong approach. "The amendments, some of which are disproportionate and paternalistic, disregard the personal responsibility of citizens," said Küster. The EAC demands that the measures to check fitness to drive should be the responsibility of the Member States and that novice drivers and seniors should not be disproportionately restricted.
In the past, the social association VdK has also reacted indignantly to a possible review of the driving ability of seniors. (tt/dpa)