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Mobility & Transport - Road Safety

Safety versus mobility and quality of life

A test procedure that results in people losing their driving licence when they can still drive a car safely is undesirable for a variety of reasons. First of all, the fatality rate for older cyclists and pedestrians is many times larger than for older drivers. Consequently, they are safer in a car. In addition, older people often have already stopped cycling, partly because of loss of balance. Saying farewell to their car often is also a farewell to part of their social lives. This can have negative consequences for the well-being of the individual, but also for society as a whole (e.g. the extra costs of door-to-door community transport). And all this while older people who still drive do not pose a disproportional danger to other road users. They are more often severely injured themselves (killed or hospitalized) in a collision with a younger motorist than that they, as a motorist, cause severe injury to a younger road user.

When safe mobility as a car driver is indeed no longer possible, alternative means of transport should be made available to ensure the mobility of older people. Many countries do this. Examples of alternative means of transport are: conventional public transport services, bus service routes, taxis, and dial-a-ride service for door-to-door travel. No single form of transport provides mobility for all people under all circumstances. A family of services is needed that enables travellers to select the one that best suits their requirements for a particular journey.