The latest data handled by the General Directorate of Traffic (DGT), in 26% of those killed in traffic accidents are older than 64. Although they have fallen compared to the previous statistics, these figures reveal a high accident rate. For this reason, the DGT plans to reduce the periods of validity of the driving license of the elderly. At the moment, until the age of 65, the renewals of the driver’s license are every 10 years. This period is reduced to 5 years for drivers over that age and becomes two years when they are over 70. Older people have to take a series of tests to renew their licence.

With the aim of increasing road safety and at the same time reducing the number of deaths at the wheel, more demanding measures continue to be proposed in the driving license of those over 65 years of age.

It is a debate that has been on the table for a long time and that the Traffic leaders always make it clear in their interventions. The Deputy Director of the DGT María José Aparicio pointed this out clearly at Vial Week, an event organized by the National Confederation of Driving Schools (CNAE).

Aparició pointed out that he wants to review not only the periods of validity of the permits of the elderly but all the periods of validity. “We know that in the case of people of a certain age we will have to reduce them.” However, the deputy director discussed the fact that “elderly people must be protected, but always promoting their mobility, security and freedom”.

To raise this issue, the deputy director of the DGT emphasized the data: «30% of those killed in traffic accidents in the European Union are over 65 years of age. Something that is repeated in all countries and that reaches 50% when we talk about deceased pedestrians or cyclists. In Spain in 2019, 28% of those killed in traffic accidents were over 65 years of age. These figures are going to worsen, if we do nothing, due to the aging of the population, ”warned the deputy director of the DGT.

Pere Navarro, director of Traffic, also spoke about this issue in an appearance before the Commission on Road Safety of Congress and dropped that the deadlines and psychophysical tests in the renewal of the driving license of the elderly would be reviewed.

Today, the General Regulations for Drivers state that drivers between the ages of 18 and 65 are required to renew their driving license every ten years. When this age band is exceeded, renewals occur every five years. In the case of professional drivers, over 65 years of age, the renewal is every three years.

« Restrict yes, limit no«. The DGT follows the path of European policies that tend not to limit the validity of the permit due to age, but to restrict driving to certain hours of the day or to certain areas. »The assessment of the elderly must be individualized, since there is great variability in their psychophysical conditions«, explains Elena Valdés, medical adviser to the DGT.

In this sense, although those over 65 years of age approve the renewal of their driving licence, 81% receive some type of restriction due to visual, perceptual-motor and auditory problems. “The most frequent types of restrictions are shortening the periods of validity below 5 years and limitations on driving to certain areas and at daytime hours,” according to the DGT.