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Medical report to be axed for those aged under 75 applying for driving licence

Drivers in Ireland aged under 75 will no longer have to supply a medical report to get approval to drive.

From next Monday, the age at which someone applying for a driver’s licence must supply a medical report to confirm their fitness to drive will increase from 70 to 75.

The move is expected to immediately benefit thousands of people aged over 70 who are expected to apply for a licence in the coming months.

The Covid-19 pandemic had already seen the requirement temporarily waived for people aged 70 and over to provide a medical report.

The change in the age limit is supported by a range of supports for older drivers and healthcare professionals in terms of comprehensive guidelines on medical fitness to drive

Professor Desmond O’Neill, National Office for Traffic Medicine

In Ireland, age and medical fitness determine how long a licence remains valid for.

The change, announced by junior minister Hildegarde Naughton, has been hailed as a “welcome development”.

Professor Desmond O’Neill, from the National Office for Traffic Medicine, said the change recognised that older drivers are “exceptionally responsible”.

“The change is supported by international research indicating that routine medical screening of older drivers is not only ineffective but may actually unintentionally increase injury and death among older people as pedestrians,” he said.

Under the new rules, a driver under 75 will not have to supply a medical report about themselves unless they have a specific illness or are required to do so by law.

Driving licences will remain free to anyone over 70, with that same age group able to apply by post to renew a licence or learner permit.

Prof O’Neill said: “The change in the age limit is supported by a range of supports for older drivers and healthcare professionals in terms of comprehensive guidelines on medical fitness to drive.”

Source: Independent.co.uk

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