Italy wants to ban drivers over 80 years old to reduce accidents.
Italy is considering banning drivers over 80 years old from the roads in a bid to reduce accidents. The proposal is based on the suggestion that octogenarians are less alert and more easily distracted than younger motorists.
Italy has one of the highest amount of road deaths per year in Europe with more than 5000 registered in 2009.
”We must look at setting an age limit for driving – once it is passed then a licence would be taken away,” said Mario Valducci, chairman of the Italian Parliament Transport Committee. ”It is still at the proposal stage and it would be either around 80 or 85 years old but it is something that is being seriously considered.”
Under current legislation in Italy driving licences must be renewed every ten years until 50, then every five years until 70 and then every three years.
Drivers have to provide medical certificates to verify they are in a good state of health but there is no full practical test to check their reactions.
Sandro Salvati, of Italy’s Road Safety Association, said:”It’s something that should be seriously considered – although I must say there are some people of 85 who are as lively as crickets and others of 65 who are not.
”However cars of today have a lot of additional extras and gadgets which can be rather distracting if you are at the wheel.
”There are mobile phones, sat navs, TV monitors, lap top and I pod connectors as well as old time distractions such as lighting a cigarette or putting make up on.
”We estimate that 30% of accidents are caused by these types of distraction. Looking at how fit and capable elderly people are while at the wheel is something that should be seriously considered.”