100,000 Elderly Drivers Return Licenses in January–May (News)
Tokyo (Jiji Press)—About 106,000 people aged 75 or older voluntarily returned their driver's licenses in Japan in the first five months of 2017, a much faster pace than a year earlier.
In March, the revised Road Traffic Act came into force, introducing tougher tests to detect signs of dementia among elderly drivers renewing their licenses. During all of 2016, a total of some 162,000 drivers aged 75 or older returned their licenses.
In January–May this year, the number of fatal traffic accidents caused by people aged 75 or older plunged 14.2% from a year earlier to 151, hitting the lowest level in 10 years, apparently reflecting the impact of the new legislation.
Outstanding issues include how to secure doctors for diagnosing dementia and how to reduce waiting times for elderly people to take mandatory driving lessons.
According to the National Police Agency, some 56,000 drivers aged 75 or older surrendered their licenses in the 81 days after the March revision to the law.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]