KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — The Transport Ministry (MOT) has never issued any directive for senior citizens aged 70 and above to return their driving licence, said its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said driving competency should not be measured based on age and there were many factors that contributed to road accidents.
“Competency is a different issue. Like the Langkawi member of Parliament (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), he can still drive well, far better than younger people. There is no discrimination,” he said when replying to to a supplementary question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) during the Ministers’ Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Wee said 80 per cent of road accidents were caused by the human factors, 13 percent due to vehicle failure and seven percent contributed by the environment.
He added that driving under the influence of alcohol can raise the risk of accidents by 13 times compared to a sober person.
Responding to Syed Ibrahim’s original question on road accidents involving wrong-way drivers, Wee said among the contributing factors of such cases was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
He said 807 road crash cases involving vehicles driving against the traffic flow were reported this year, 29 of which were fatal accidents, 17 cases reported serious injuries, 49 cases involved minor injuries and 702 cases had caused vehicles to suffer damage.
Wee said one of the major contributing factors to accidents were speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, using mobile phones or navigation applications, and not following road rules.