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Monday, January 18, 2010

Indian Seniors over 75 yrs may be barred from driving

The government is putting final touches to a major overhaul of driving norms in the country, which includes putting an upper age limit on people eligible to drive and making training from recognized driving schools mandatory for applicants wanting a driver's licence.

Officials said the new norms will transform the driver's licence from being a ‘proof of identity' to a ‘proof of skill'. The exercise is aimed at reducing road accidents in the country by making sure that only qualified people take to the wheel. Around 1.14 lakh people die on the roads in India, more than anywhere else in the world.

The proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Act includes defining the maximum speed limit on highways. The changes are expected to be finalized by March.

The new norms, being devised by an expert committee set up by the ministry of road transport and highways, is weighing the option of barring people who are over 72-75 years old from getting a driving licence. The move, which is still under consideration, is likely to impact many active senior citizens who drive their own vehicles. The committee has also proposed not giving licences to 16 and 17-year-olds, who under the current rules are eligible to ride mopeds.

Another major impact of the proposals would be on smalltime driving schools, which could become a thing of the past.

Officials said that state transport departments could be bifurcated to ensure that only people with proper training only the licences. ``One agency will be responsible for training of drivers and the other will deal with issuing licences. We are looking into the suggestion of experts in this field to have recognised driving institutes with proper infrastructure in every states. In small states, there can be one training school and in bigger ones, there can be two such training schools,'' a senior official said.

These model training schools, to be set up by state governments with central assistance or under public-private partnership, will mandatorily train all aspiring drivers in the region.

All applicants would also need to get their eyes tested from an eye-specialist and get a fitness certificate from an MBBS doctor.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Seniors-over-75-yrs-may-be-barred-from-driving/articleshow/5450528.cms

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