Older drivers in the UAE might have to face some restrictions such as annual medical tests, if the Ministry of Interior agrees to a proposal by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Gulf News has reported.
Aim to protect older drivers from potential hazards
According to Ahmad Hashem Behroozian, CEO of RTA’s Licensing Agency, the authority is exploring with the ministry ways to protect older drivers from potential road hazards.
“We are exploring multiple avenues with the federal government and of the things we’re discussing and, which could possibly be implemented sooner, is having some kind of restrictions on old drivers,” Behroozian said.
Call for reduced license duration, mandatory medical tests
“One of the ideas is to reduce the duration of licence issued after a certain age, which is currently 10 years for all,” he added.
The minimum age for older drivers to undergo mandatory medical test will either be 60 or 65, but this has not yet been finalised, Behroozian said.
RTA’s Licensing Agency has already introduced mandatory annual medical tests for those who work as drivers of heavy vehicles, commercial vehicles, trams and taxis.
“The medical test that older people are likely to undergo will be different from the one we have for professional drivers. For older people, we will focus more on their reaction time, hazard perception, as well as a medical condition,” he said.
Medical conditions in focus
- Neurological disorders
- Psychiatric disorders
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Cardiovascular ailments
- Alcohol and drug abuse and dependence
- Visual disorders
- Renal disorders
- Respiratory and sleep disorders
- Profound deafness
- Brain tumours
However, he cautioned that the discussion is still in the initial stage, and the implementation may take a while. More than 100,000 driver permits have been issued over the last two years.