30,000 Elderly Drivers in Japan Show Signs of Dementia (News)


Tokyo, Nov. 2 (Jiji Press)—A total of 30,170 drivers aged 75 or older in Japan showed signs of dementia in tests conducted from March, when the country's revised Road Traffic Act was enforced to toughen dementia checks on elderly drivers, through the end of September, police data showed Thursday.

Of them, 674 drivers got their licenses revoked after doctors diagnosed them as having dementia, according to provisional figures released by the National Police Agency.

Under the revised law, drivers aged 75 or older are required to undergo cognitive tests when they apply to renew their licenses and if they commit certain traffic violations. Those showing signs of dementia in the tests are obliged to see doctors and will have their licenses revoked or suspended if they are diagnosed as dementia sufferers.

In about six months since the law's enforcement, 1,117,876 elderly drivers took the tests and 30,170 of the total, or about 2.7%, were judged to be at risk of having dementia.

Of 7,673 such drivers who saw doctors by the end of September, 674 got their licenses revoked and 23 had them suspended. Also, 4,326 drivers were allowed to keep their licenses but were told to submit certificates from doctors again six months later.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press aging dementia