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Japan to test driving skills of elderly who commit traffic offenses

17 Comments

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Oh, so, they will test their driving skills after they have caused accidents? One would think it better to test their skills before they cause an accident, would it not?

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Better to test them all! If you want to keep your license, test them at regular intervals, making the period shorter between MANDATORY tests, as they get older.

If they fail, dont just take away their license, take the keys! Even without a license many will still drive!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Testing driving skills of all elderly drivers would cost a fortune and taxpayers would be paying for that.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Around 20 percent of the drivers aged 75 or above violated traffic rules over the past three years.

That’s huge, and totally justifies tightening the rules.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Why restrict it to old uns?

Why not test anyone who was involved in a serious accident?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Meiyouwenti - Testing driving skills of all elderly drivers would cost a fortune and taxpayers would be paying for that.

How much is a life worth? I’m sure that if one of your family was killed by an incompetent elderly driver your opinion would be much different.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Step in the right direction....but this....Successful applicants will then be required to take cognitive function tests. Those who fail can try again as many times as needed.....there should be a limit, if you fail say 3 times you can only get a license for a car equiped with the new safety features.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well it's a start. Good.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Must be getting old, I don't understand what's different? They already test those older folks when they reach 70, and at 75 it's even a little more difficult with extra cognitive function tests, what's new, other than the mandatory braking system??

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Around 20 percent of the drivers aged 75 or above violated traffic rules over the past three years. 

Wow, that is quite a lot, something we hear for the FIRST time?

Drivers aged 71 or older are required to renew their licenses every three years.

Every three years? Too long, should be every year.

The test will check the ability to stop, turn and do other basic moves smoothly. Successful applicants will then be required to take cognitive function tests. Those who fail can try again as many times as needed.

Try as many times as needed? Wow, seriously, after 3 fails you should be out.

The agency is still mulling whether the new skills tests should be required for those aged 75 and above or 80 and above, the officials said.

YES, OF COURSE, are you kidding me?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

MeiyouwentiToday 07:32 am JST

Testing driving skills of all elderly drivers would cost a fortune and taxpayers would be paying for that.

Why should it cost the taxpayer?

If you want to drive, the associated costs need to be borne by the drivers.

In my city, mandatory practical testing/ cognitive testing and 1/2 day safety lectures are the norm for over 70 license renewal.

These are all conducted by driving schools.

This has become a big business for them as the rapid decrease in younger drivers, has allowed them to focus on "aged driving". One school near me also focuses on intensive refresher courses & skill / technique updates.

Two of my friends in their 70s did it and said it was challenging but felt good about their levels after completion.

IMO such courses should be compulsory for ALL drivers at least every 10 years until 65 and then every 3 years after. So many unskillful drivers of all ages.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

IMO this shouldnt be restricted to elderly drivers. Test the driving skills of ALL drivers when they go to renew their licenses. People get lazy, forget basic road rules and generally become complacent drivers pretty soon after they first get their licenses. As much of a pain as it would be for myself, i think it would prevent accidents if we had to 'review' our driving competitency every 5-10 years at least. There are so many 'non-driving gold license' holders here in Japan who may not even have driven a car in 20 years yet still hold a gold license and would happily rent a car to go on a holiday. Or the typical train commuting salaryman, who drives once a year for the family summer vacation - they are just as much a danger to other road users as a 75yr old, possibly more.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The problem is that anything involving education of any kind in Japan is based on the ability to memorise rote. All drivers who have been involved in a serious accident should be tested before they drive again. But NOT to find out whether they can remember how many metres they must not park in front of a pedestrian crossing! They needed to be tested for a) reaction time, b) hearing/ sight, and c) actual driving skills.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why do this after they’ve committed a traffic offense. And why three years? It should be biannually. The stubborn and arrogant elderly here will never ever give up driving even if they commit an offense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Vince, not all of us old uns are stubborn or arrogant. Many of us would gladly give up driving if there were a public transport system a) that we could understand and b) that we could afford and c) that wouldn't shut down at 8PM. But that doesn't only apply to old uns. Sapporo and Asahikawa have subway systems. Okinawa has a pathetic little monorail. A lot of people would prefer to ride a bus or train.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem is that anything involving education of any kind in Japan is based on the ability to memorise rote. All drivers who have been involved in a serious accident should be tested before they drive again. But NOT to find out whether they can remember how many metres they must not park in front of a pedestrian crossing! They needed to be tested for a) reaction time, b) hearing/ sight, and c) actual driving skills.

No, no, no....the tests they give are practical skills tests along with cognitive ones as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A start, but way too paltry.

Driving is a privilege, NOT a right.

After 70 years, there should be a yearly test, and after 75 every six months, then after 80, total ban on driving to be countered with credits towards public transportation and taxis.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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