Italy considers banning drivers over 80 years old

Italy has come up with a proposal that is bound to ruffle a few feathers – it is considering banning people aged 80 and over from driving to make the roads safer for other motorists.

The suggestion is that octogenarians are less alert than younger motorists, and therefore more of a risk to other road users.
"We must look at setting an age limit for driving - once it is passed then a licence would be taken away," said Mario Valducci, chairman of the Italian Parliament Transport Committee. He explained that the idea is still only at proposal stage, but the idea of setting a driving limit at 80 or 85 is something that is being seriously considered.

Under current legislation, Italian drivers must renew their licences every 10 years until they reach 50 years old, then it is every five years, then at 70 they must re-prove their fitness to drive every three years. There is no re-test, but drivers must show a medical certificate to prove they are up to driving.

Equally condescending is the Italians' statement that the modern car is too much of a potential distraction for the poor, befuddled pensioners.

"There are mobile phones, sat navs, TV monitors, lap top and iPod connectors as well as old time distractions such as lighting a cigarette or putting make up on," said Sandro Salvati of Italy's Road Safety Association.

"We estimate that 30% of accidents are caused by these types of distraction. Looking at how fit and capable elderly people are while at the wheel is something that should be seriously considered."
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