Status: 24/09/2023, 17:36 p.m.
By: Kilian Bäuml
The EU Commission will soon vote on whether older drivers should prove their fitness to drive. The proposal has received a lot of criticism, and the ADAC is voting for a different solution.
Frankfurt – The year 2023 has some changes in store for people who drive, so thousands of people had to exchange their driver's license this year. But it is not only in Germany that there are innovations, driving licence changes are also planned at EU level. The planned new rules mainly affect senior citizens.
While young drivers could be happy about uniform rules for driving the B17, drivers over 70 can take a driving test. The draft report by French Green Party politician Karima Delli, which will be voted on in December, is facing headwinds from several sides. The ADAC also considers another solution to be more sensible.
Voluntary fitness check instead of fitness to drive for seniors – proposal of the ADAC
According to the draft amendment to the directive on driving licences, persons aged 70 and over should take a driving test every five years. Another approach, according to ZDF, is that all persons who received their driver's license after 2013 should renew their driver's license every 15 years. The proposed changes are already being sharply criticized from many sides. It is expected that more than 1000,<> applications for changes to the draft will be received, reports the ADAC. The automobile club itself is critical of a driving fitness test for seniors.
In a press release, the ADAC writes, among other things: "Although there may be a loss of performance with increasing age, the risk of accidents for older drivers is not exceptionally high." Instead, the ADAC, as well as the TÜV Association, are committed to voluntary driving fitness tests, and the automobile club also advocates elements such as a fitness check for driving.
Instead of a mandatory driving aptitude test, the ADAC is in favour of voluntary driving training for senior citizens. © Julian Stratenschulte/dpa
Proof of fitness to drive in old age: In many other EU countries, this has long been mandatory
In Germany, there are currently no regulations for a certificate of fitness to drive in old age, neither through an exam nor a fitness check. Other EU countries already have similar regulations in place. According to SWR, this is what it looks like in other European countries:
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Fancy a voyage of discovery?
- Denmark: Drivers must prove their fitness to drive from the age of 80.
- Holland: Here, the obligation applies from the age of 75, from then on the fitness to drive must be proven every five years.
- Italy: Here, all motorists have to be checked regularly. People under the age of 50 are tested every ten years, after which the intervals become shorter. First of all, the fitness to drive must be proven every 5 years, from 70 every three years and from 80 every two years.
- Portugal: Here, the ability to drive is checked every five years at the age of 50, and the interval is also shorter here – for people aged 70 and over, every other year.
- Switzerland: A certificate of fitness to drive is expected here from the age of 75, after which drivers must obtain a medical certificate every two years.
- Spain: From the age of 65, fitness to drive must be proven every five years.
Another advantage of the driving fitness test for older drivers is that it would be easy to offer general refresher courses. However, it is still completely unclear what the implementation of an audit might look like.
Even though there is great resistance to a driving fitness test for senior citizens, the EU Commission's decision does not necessarily have an impact on drivers in Germany. As reported by ZDF, the EU Commission leaves it up to the member states to decide whether to introduce driving fitness tests on a mandatory or voluntary basis.