Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Britain is less and less and Germany more and more a country for old men driving on fast roads

Driving on a German motorway has reminded me how fast the drivers travel over here. With no speed limit it's not uncommon to be passed by a car travelling at 200 km per hour and that car might be legally driven by a very old man.

Germany still shies away shies away from stricter rules about old drivers and the only thing government officials, doctors and relatives can do is encourage old drivers to give up. Apparently, 1.7 million old people between the ages of 75 and 84 own a car and the number will increase as the country's population gets older and older.

As a result, an increasing number of drivers on fast and busy autobahns and bustling city roads are old men with heart problems, poor circulation, vision and hearing and with the first symptoms of dementia.

The powerful motoring organisation, the ADAC, which has many members over 60, consistently voices concerns about mandatory driving tests, criticising them as a form of age discrimination. The only step the country's Transport Ministry is willing to take is promoting 'voluntary' health check ups.

Meanwhile in Britain, a driving licence is valid until 70, when it has to be renewed then and every 3 years with the old driver, by law, filling out a questionnaire confirming that it is still 'safe for them to drive'.

The Institute for Advanced Motorists, however, has called for a new class of licence which would allow old drivers to drive but not on motorways with their 70 miles per hour limit. I think it is only a question of time before this finds its way onto the statute books.

So Germany is still a country for old men driving on fast roads because there are no restrictions on their driving and they continue to pose a threat to themselves and others. Whereas Britain has restrictions with more in the offing.

German humour :

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