Denying driving licences to senior citizens would be last resort, says Wee

By THE STAR | 25 September 2021

The ministry said all stakeholders should come together and create an effective and inclusive plan for all. — Reuters

PETALING JAYA: Senior citizens will be issued driving licences if they are able to operate a vehicle and denying one would be a last resort measure, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"Retracting or limiting senior citizens to driving licences should be a last resort once it is proven they are unable to drive,” said the Transport Minister.

He said the issue needed a broader and more holistic view instead of focusing on age alone.

"The suggestion to limit motor vehicle licences (LKM) to senior citizens can also result in them only having to borrow another person's vehicle to bypass the law," said Dr Wee in a Facebook video today.

"Referring to isolated incidents or evaluating an individual based on their age would be discriminatory.

"There are also many drivers aged 70 and above who display better driving proficiency than younger drivers," he said.

He added that it was also the duty of individuals whose health is affecting their driving ability to hand in their licences to Road Transport Department (JPJ) offices.

Dr Wee also called for all stakeholders to come together and create an effective and inclusive plan for all.

On Friday, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Comm Datuk Azisman Alias had proposed that the government limit the issuance of Motor Vehicle Licences to senior citizens.

However, Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani came forward today to say Comm Azisman was only expressing a personal opinion.

The IGP said any new safety measure will only be introduced once a study has been conducted and its implementation agreed upon among the relevant parties.

Comm Azisman had said on Friday that his call for limiting the licence was because the health condition of senior citizens could contribute to road accidents. He said senior citizens should also undergo a medical check-up and get approval from a doctor to ascertain that they are fit to drive.

“Elderly people are more likely to suffer from health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and blurred vision, which can indirectly cause a road accident.

“There was a case where a senior citizen was caught driving on a motorcycle lane. The government needs to look into this issue,” he added.