By Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye
KOTA KINABALU: There is no law in the country that prohibits a qualified person above a certain age from driving a car on Malaysian roads.
And law makers in Parliament have not found the need to amend existing laws to restrict the driving age.
But when law enforcers think that some restrictions should be imposed on senior citizens applying for an extension of their driver’s licences, they must have a good reason.
It has been reported that the Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department director, Deputy Commissioner Datuk Azisman Alias has said senior citizens pose a threat on the roads because of their health conditions.
It has also been suggested that senior citizens must be made to obtain prior health certificatation from their doctors certifying them to drive.
This makes sense but may not be a practical proposition, especially at a time when the health authorities have their hands full, dealing with the pandemic.
He quoted the case of a senior citizens who drove on a motorcycle lane.
One swallow does not make a summer. That could have been an isolated case.
Of course, ensuring safety on the roads and highways is everybody’s responsibility, and not just that of the police.
The police must be commended for their vigilance and for being proactive, but let’s be practical, responsible, and responsive.
When the average lifespan is increasing, we must find ways to accommodate the ageing population and not to impose unnecessary restrictions on their lives and lifestyles.
TAN SRI LEE LAM THYE