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Should there be an age limit for driving licenses?

37 Comments
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Kind of an open question! Do you mean someone should be at least 16-18 years old to drive. Or should you take away a driver's license if they are too old? I personally think 18 years old is a good Lower age even though where live it's 16. And I think when a driver hits 80 years old they should retest for a driver's license.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Reaction test every year from 80

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Older people can barely navigate efficiently through a supermarket. Allowing them to drive enormous metal objects at high speed seems like a bad idea. There are so many cases of old drivers mistaking the brake for the accelerator and killing innocent people.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

@Logical_Fallacy_Killer

Older people can barely navigate efficiently through a supermarket. Allowing them to drive enormous metal objects at high speed seems like a bad idea. There are so many cases of old drivers mistaking the brake for the accelerator and killing innocent people.

Saturday evening I got hit from behind in the supermarket by an elder lady (60+). I was standing (i.e. not moving) looking at articles, she was moving her trolley while looking at articles and there was a lot of space to move around (it was just before closure). I can definitely picture her running over a pedestrian while driving a car searching for a particular house or something like that...Definitely hope she does not have a driving license.

One week ago, when I exit the supermarket, I see an elderly guy (70+) moving with difficulty around his bicycle. I did wait a little to see him cycle off, just in case somebody needs to catch him (and his bike) in case they fall like a plank of wood. This guy seemed to have issues with his legs and as such I definitely prefer him to not drive around with a car...

Back in Europe, my mom sold her car and returned her driving license before age 70. She was increasingly feeling insecure when driving and was doubting her reflexes.

So, voted yes. I think from age 65, you should have yearly check to which you bring your keys and if you fail, are your keys returned not to you but to the police and your family is called to pick you up.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

A lower limit is a good idea, 17 or 18. In Japan maybe 20?

After 70, a reaction time test or dementia test every year is another good idea.

An arbitrary cut off age is not a good idea as some older people are more careful than younger people and some older people are horrendous.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

From what I have personally seen in the US most folks can drive fine up to 80. After that it's an issue. The State of Florida, which has a huge retired old-folks population has these rules:

Florida: requires drivers age 80 and older to renew their licenses every six years; those 79 and younger can receive eight-year licenses, and. accepts requests from family members and others for the DHSMV to conduct unsafe driver investigations.

I think there is a clear knee jerk reaction in Japan to the numerous accidents that have involved elderly drivers recently that is giving the impression that above 70 is dangerous to drive. That plus the high attention given to dementia.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Drivers in the 16-19 age group has by far the most accidents. And to the posters that say 60+ should be tested. The 60-69 age group has by far the least number of accidents, and are the safest driver's.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@runner3

I would expect yearly medical tests to become a standard as from a dementia-perspective will Japan's future look pretty bleak. To the elderly-vote pandering LDP is this a "nuclear option", but there is not much choice I'm afraid.

The Ministery of Health, Labour and Work's own assessment on where dementia is going.

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000524702.pdf

If things remain constant the percentage of patients with dementia will hit 19.0% of the population by 2025 (20.6% if things worsen). By 2060 will we hit 25.3% (if constant) and 34.3% if worsen. This is across all age-groups.

MUFG has a breakdown by age-groups in the elderly category. By 2025, one out of 5 patient with dementia will be 65+. By 2060, one out of 3!!

https://www.tr.mufg.jp/shisan/mamori/dementia/02.html#:~:text=65%E6%AD%B3%E4%BB%A5%E4%B8%8A%E3%81%AE%E9%AB%98%E9%BD%A2,%E3%81%99%E3%82%8B%E3%81%A8%E6%8E%A8%E8%A8%88%E3%81%95%E3%82%8C%E3%81%A6%E3%81%84%E3%81%BE%E3%81%99%E3%80%82

Considering the super-aging phenomenon in Japan, it is pretty obvious that patients with dementia are poised to continue to increase to pandemic-levels in the next decades. Now, you just need to link that to driving-license permit holders to see where this is heading.

Even if we try to be conservative (and optimistic!), by 2025, around 7 Mio elderly will have dementia out of which 2.2% will be 65-69 years of age. Let's therefore say: 7,000,000 x 0.02 = 140,000 patients with a certain number of them poised to drive some kind of vehicle. This is not exactly reassuring...

Dementia in Japan is a health crisis in the making. The problem of having patients behind the wheel is only the tip of the iceberg as the social impact will be huge: the potential for having ten millions patients will require up to millions of helpers and medical staff. Also, the elderly are increasingly living on their own (e.g. no kids, widowers, divorced or never married to start with).

As far as driving-licenses go are cars an increasing "must" in rural areas due to population moving to urban centers and business investing less and less in those areas, hence forcing you to put in some mileage to get to somewhere to buy your groceries or get specialized services (e.g. hospital, post, bank, etc).

We can hope that medicine will find a cure or some kind of medicine to prevent apparition or slow down progress of dementia, but we need to prepare and expect for the worse (i.e. no cure).

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yes, 59 should be the limit. Once you're 60 that's it, no more driving.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

There doesn't need to be a blanketed age limit. Simply have mandatory vision, hearing, and motor function testing when renewing. Or if that's not good enough, make everyone renewing their license be required to take the behind the wheel road test again.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In Japan, yes.

Best to ask the insurance companies for their data first

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yearly tests after 80 as peoples faculties can deteriorate very quickly once that age is reached.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Traffic accident rates are highest in the under-24s, so I would recommend a lower age limit of 25. From then on drivers are involved in fewer and fewer accidents up to the age of 74, so additional testing after that age: maybe every two or three years from 75ish, every year or so from 80.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No artificial age limit but extra testing from about 70 would be a sensible move. Also family members... if your elderly relatives are not safe...speak up... Before they ruin whats left of their life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Within just a few years from now, cars will be able to practically drive themselves, or at least have so many advanced collision and accident avoidance systems that even a half-blind 85 year old well on their way to losing their faculties will still be able to drive them safely!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People get old and frail in varying degrees. We should employ more valid measurements, not chronological age to assess someone's drive-ability.

For another point, please introduce self-driving cars to the streets asap. Technically, they are already ready only to be hampered by red-tapes or traffic regulations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Deciding broad public policy initiatives based on anecdotal evidence is ignorant. What does the data show? If there is a statistically significant public safety issue, then address it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Speed up R&D funding for autonomous vehicles and this problem goes away.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

60 is the limits for anyone driving a taxi.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I voted yes because when you think about it, a car is basically a giant weapon and in the wrong hands, accidents can and will happen. It's a fact that as you get older, your reflexes and reaction times slow; so I think that after a certain age, drivers must pass an annual test to show driving competency or give up their licence. Better safe than sorry.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The issue is not age, but competency. If an 80-year-old can demonstrate driving competency, why should they be restricted from driving? Similarly, there are a ton of 30-year-olds on the roads now who probably shouldn't be driving.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I'm surprised that so many people living here in Japan don't know but currently, drivers aged 70 or older are required to take a course designed for older motorists, which includes in-vehicle instruction. 

On my first renewal after reaching 70 I had to take a practical test on a course at the local driving licence centre. This was done in a taxi sized Mitsubishi with an instructor and three persons being tested. It wasn't particularly difficult but a couple of the other old duffers should not have been allowed anywhere near a car. We had to listen to some lectures, answer a few simple questions about potentially dangerous situations on the road, take an eye test and peripheral vision test and a hearing test. We all passed and got 3 year renewals.

I've just had a card to tell me that I have to do it again before the end of the year.

This article explains much more about the systems being proposed:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20211104/p2a/00m/0na/026000c

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Definitely yes and not only car but bicycle too! Japan love data so ask that to insurance companies and police but also to victims such as Mr Matsunaga who lost his wife and daughter!

https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14573653

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YES, YES AND YES !!!..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'm not so good now at 63, wait till I'm 80, best you take me off the road at that time

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So if you pull the license from people over 70 how are they going to live? How do they get to the shops? How do they get to hospital? It is not practical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Road User skills are relevant to age. Passing a comprehensive annual testing system should be the only requirement to issuing , holding and insuring a road using licence.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan road user system do take into count the population demographics ability to negotiate local condition. With a rising older road using population the ability to flow with traffic speeds diminishes. But lowering these speeds give these class of drive the confidence to use to roads. EG 30 Km speed limits in built up areas where in most other countries it is normally 50 km /30mph. Also driver ability/ age is display by a sticker on the rear of the car. Hence the Government is rule by the size of the elderly vote. So to over coming growing accidents cause by an age issue, a comprehensive annual testing must be installed which will never happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Livin: More like you can not use the roads system in Japan. Actually I assume you suffer from road rage because of elderly drivers. Your feeling on the subject show no allowance for error when using the roads which occurs with any age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't support an absolute limit because they are always outliers, people who don't seem to age at all.

There should be yearly tests though, starting around 80. Stats say that at 85, around half of people need some kind of assistance (kaigo), even if its just a day helper.

If full testing could be used on cars with automatic braking etc. to verify its benefits, one option would be to give older driving licenses that are restricted to cars with it, just as Japan already issues stick shift and automatic only licenses.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nah let everyone drive. God will sort it out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As it is not until being seventeen years old that Japanese citizens are allowed to get drivers license, people, in their 70s for example, should have a limit. Since a capability such as judgement for safety gradually decreases, though it has gap for each individuals, elderlies have more chances of operating thier car wrongly. Therefore, a certain age limit is needed to be implemented. If it is difficult be done, some proficiency tests for safety driving might reduce the number of accidents related to aging.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here in the UK the over 70's have to renew their licence every 3 years and are legally obliged to inform the authorities of any illness or impairment. Some illness's or impairments have to be declared no matter what age, type 1 diabetes for instance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ZALDToday  06:07 pm JST

.....................people, in their 70s for example, should have a limit. Since a capability such as judgement for safety gradually decreases, though it has gap for each individuals, elderlies have more chances of operating thier car wrongly.

Please tell me how you are qualified to make such a judgement.

Do you make a distinction between male and female?

Do you have some credible data to back up your assertions?

Ability not age is the main criterion hence the need for comprehensive testing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No, of course not. That has to be checked and decided case by case. You will find seniors who drive well or dangerous and you find youngsters who drive well or dangerous. That has more to do with physical health mental stability and driving with responsibility, not with any specific age groups.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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