New bill bodes well for senior citizen drivers
The justice minister, Mette Frederiksen, today proposed a new bill that would make changes to the law regarding mandatory driving licence renewals.
The news follows up on last month's story in which calls were made for the law to be reassessed.
The bill, which would see the age for mandatory renewals increase from 70 to 75, is based on a new report conducted by the National Health Board, National Police and the Ministry of Justice. The report concludes increasing the age could be done responsibly and without compromising road safety.
"We have many septuagenarians in Denmark who drive just as confidently as they always have" the justice minister, Mette Frederiksen, told DR.
"By increasing the age-limit to 75, we ensure our senior citizens can wait five years longer before they have to pay for a medical check-up when renewing their driving licence."
70 is the new 60
Under the current rules, which have existed since 1966, a licence holder is required to pay for a medical in order to renew their licence once they reach 70 years of age. Danish society has come a long way since then, which is the reasoning behind the bill.
"Times have changed significantly for our senior citizens. One can sense being 73 years old today is entirely different from say a generation ago," remarked Frederiksen.
Several elderly rights advocates had previously pledged support for an increase in the age limit – support that pleased the minister.
"There appears to be strong backing for increasing the age-limit. I am therefore more than happy to propose a bill that affects so many road-users," concluded Frederiksen.
In 2013, the number of drivers requiring a compulsory medical to renew their licences stood at 200,000 – a figure that suggests many (approximately 100,000) had put off getting it done.