Older driver accidents are increasing, but the effect of measures is ‘well’

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Accidents caused by older drivers are on the rise. In order to prevent accidents, there are incentives to educate elderly drivers or to return their licenses, but they are not having much effect.

Reporter Shin Jeong-eun.

At dawn on the 19th, a taxi pulled into an alleyway in Seoul.

The driver stopped the car and came out, looked carefully at the windshield and left.

I came back after a while, checked the vehicle and left.

A taxi driver in his 70s collided with a passerby and left without action.

The victim suffered serious head injuries and died.

The police arrested the driver on charge of manslaughter under the Special Act.

[경찰 관계자 : 사람을 친 줄 자기는 몰랐다고 하는데 모를 리가 있나요. 반응 속도도 좀 떨어지고 그런 게 사고에 영향을 (줄 수 있습니다.)]

The number of elderly drivers over the age of 65 exceeded 3.86 million last year, an increase of 55% in five years, and the number of traffic accidents involving elderly drivers also increased by 27% to 31,72 during the same period.

In order to prevent accidents by elderly drivers, a voluntary return system for driver’s licenses has been introduced by local governments since 2017.

When seniors 65 years of age or older return their driver’s license, transportation costs or local gift certificates are provided. Only 2% of eligible drivers participate each year.

[이순열/도로교통공단 교육운영처 교수 : 인지 능력이나 운전 능력이 운전면허증을 계속 소지할 만큼의 상태가 아니라는 상황 인식이 돼야 되는데 그런 것들이 좀 부족할 수 있겠죠.]

A system in which drivers over 75 years of age must undergo an aptitude test and traffic safety education once every three years to renew their license is also in effect from 2019.

However, in the case of an 82-year-old driver who struck and killed his grandmother and granddaughter in Busan yesterday (22nd), he renewed his license before the law was revised and was excluded from the subject of compulsory education.

Careful efforts are required, such as developing and supporting safety devices such as prevention of sudden acceleration for elderly drivers who are weak in driving, and filling gaps in the system.

(Video editing: Park Ji-in)

Reference-news.sbs.co.kr

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