Status: 04.12.2023, 13:15 PM
By: Maximilian Kettenbach
EU transport ministers agree on a compromise on health tests for older drivers. Germany, represented by Transport Minister Wissing, is outvoted.
Brussels – EU transport ministers agreed on a compromise at their meeting under which additional health tests would be possible in principle, but the decision on this would be up to the member states. The decision had caused a great deal of excitement in Germany. The EU's driving licence plans are a speed limit through the back door, the ADAC recently suspected.
However, Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) has now once again rejected stricter regulations for older drivers. "A mandatory health examination from a certain age is out of the question for us in Germany," Wissing said in Brussels on Monday.
Driving fitness tests for seniors aged 70 and over: According to a survey, a clear majority is in favour. (Symbolic image) © Westend61/Imago
In Germany, stricter rules for older people would probably be off the table. Mandatory medical examinations are "not proportionate," Wissing stressed. In addition to Germany, Austria and Belgium, among others, had also campaigned against such a regulation.
According to the compromise, Member States should require driving licence holders to pass either a medical fitness test or a self-disclosure of their health.
Drivers would have to present this if they apply for a new driving licence every 15 years. The EU Commission had also proposed that the driving licence for people aged 70 and over should only be valid for five years. They would therefore have to provide more information about their health.
Transport Minister Wissing rejects these additional regulations. A self-disclosure does not offer any added value for road safety, he criticized. "I think this is a superfluous bureaucracy," Wissing said in Brussels, adding that the authorities were already overburdened. Germany therefore did not agree to the compromise, but was outvoted.
The EU Parliament has yet to determine its position on the proposed law. Subsequently, member states and MEPs negotiate the final law. The driving licence reform is also intended to introduce accompanied driving from the age of 17 in all member states as well as an EU-wide digital driving licence. (dpa)