EU Commission Proposals Regarding Refresher Courses For Elderly Drivers Shelved.

New proposals suggested by the European Commission that, if implemented, could result in drivers over 70 years of age having to undergo driving refresher courses, will not be implemented here in Ireland.

Just one small section of unravelled roadway on Kickham Street, Thurles, Co. Tipperary ignored by local elected councillors and Thurles Municipal District officials.

It has been confirmed that there are no plans by the Irish government to change the current age from over 75 years old to 70 years. Thus drivers under 75 years will not have to supply a medical report confirming their fitness to drive, unless they are specifically identified as someone who has a specific illness and therefore required to do so by law.

The European Commission’s proposals were centred around some motorists having to undergo regular medical tests and refresher courses in order to renew their driving licence. These proposals also suggest mandatory training for professional van drivers, as well as allowing children, as young as 16 years, to drive cars that have been fitted with a governor, thus limiting the top speed of their vehicles.

The new EU proposed directives, which are seen by some as being ageist, unfair, ineffective and harmful, will not be made mandatory for individual member states. While intended to improve road safety, same would be seen as being unjust to those drivers residing in rural areas, that have limited access to other alternative forms of public transport.

According to a European Transport Safety Council report, over 5,400 people aged over 65 years were killed on EU roads in 2021; a third of which were pedestrians.

Here in rural Co. Tipperary, an effort to provide and invest in local road improvements, would be identified as being much more beneficial to the elderly driver, than undergoing driving refresher courses, as anyone who has driven around the streets of Thurles town will most surely confirm.


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