KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — The transport minister has rubbished rumours driving licence holders over the age of 70 had been required to return these to the Road Transport Department (JPJ).
Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, when responding during Ministers’ Question Time in Parliament this morning, stressed that this has never been his ministry’s stand and that driving competency was not based on age.
“I am intrigued, MoT never gave orders to mandate that senior citizens older than 70-years old need to return their licenses, we never, because competency is a different issue.
“Like YB Langkawi, he can still drive very well, and far better than those crazily driving around, so this cannot be discriminated against for those aged over 70,” he said referring to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
This comes following reports of Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director Datuk Azisman Alias’ suggestion that the renewal of senior citizens’ driving licences be restricted, citing the health condition of a motorist as a factor that contributed to accidents.
Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani however clarified that the Royal Malaysia Police were not actively planning to introduce conditions for senior citizens, saying the proposal was still at a theoretical stage.
These reports were later presumably misinterpreted, triggering rumours of those over 70 years’ old being compelled to return their driving licences to JPJ.
Wee today in Dewan Rakyat, when responding to Ledang MP Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh, also revealed how there have been 807 road accidents involving vehicles driving against traffic in 2021 alone.
He revealed that of these, 29 were fatal accidents, 17 that saw victims seriously injured, 49 more with those involved suffering light injuries, with 702 of those accidents subsequently causing vehicles to be rendered a total loss and not roadworthy.
Overall, the minister revealed there to be 2,560 fatal road accidents reported this year over the period from January to July.
He pointed out how 11 of these fatal accidents were caused by drivers driving either under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Additionally, he explained how 80 per cent of all road accidents reported were caused by human error, 13 per cent of which were attributed to the vehicle’s faultiness, and that seven per cent of road accidents were attributed to the surrounding environments.