Status: 24/09/2023, 15:11 p.m.
By: Kilian Bäuml
Soon, the EU Commission will vote on whether seniors will have to prove their fitness to drive. What has long been true in many EU countries has met with criticism in this country.
Munich – A lot will change for drivers in 2023. Already at the beginning of the year, there were numerous changes to the driver's license, for example, thousands of people had to exchange their driver's license. Now the EU is planning numerous other innovations that could have a particular impact on seniors and pensioners as well as novice drivers. Not everyone is happy about the draft report by the French Green politician Karima Delli, who heads the Transport Committee. Some politicians are uncomprehending and speak of a "prohibition program" – even the ADAC criticizes.
Seniors and pensioners should prove their fitness to drive: ADAC criticizes planned driver's license regulations
For novice drivers, the new driving licence directive will make many things easier, for example, B17 driving is to be standardised in Europe. For older drivers, on the other hand, a driving fitness test from the age of 70 could be on the agenda. Since March 2023, the EU Commission has had the draft report on amendments to the Driving Licence Directive, which is to be decided on in December. However, some of the planned innovations are already being controversially discussed. The ADAC writes that more than 1000 applications to change the draft are expected. Even the automobile club can not understand every change, especially the driving ability test, which would affect pensioners in particular, is criticized.
In December, the EU Commission will decide on the introduction of a driving fitness test from the age of 70. (Symbolic image) © Michael Bihlmayer/Imago
In a press release, the ADAC speaks out against the driving fitness test. Among other things, the statement states: "Although there may be a loss of performance with increasing age, the risk of accidents for older drivers is not exceptionally high." Instead, the automobile club supports voluntary elements such as a driving fitness check.
Proof of fitness to drive: In several EU countries, this has long been mandatory for pensioners
According to the draft, people over the age of 70 should have their fitness to drive checked every five years in the future. Even though there is no corresponding rule in Germany so far, it already prevails in some other EU countries – including neighbouring countries. These include the following countries, as reported by SWR:
- Denmark: The ability to drive must be proven annually 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 certificate from their family doctor every two years.
- Spain: From the age of 65, fitness to drive must be proven every five years.
If there is a general driving test for seniors, it will also be easier for the EU member states to introduce refresher courses, among other things. However, it is not yet clear exactly what the test in Germany could look like. Not only could there be changes in terms of driving ability, but there are also innovations in the driver's license itself.