Reverse Staysafe Decision For Age Testing Drivers
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The NSW Parliamentary Staysafe Committee has again decided on what may be seen as discriminatory action by upholding testing drivers over 85 years of age. By it's own admission the committee argues against itself, as shown in the below transcript published by the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association:
We find that the mandatory periodic retesting and retraining of all licensed drivers between the age of first achieving a licence [sic] and the age of older driver assessment would be expensive, disruptive and administratively complex, and unlikely to improve road safety outcomes.
The Committee provided no evidence that the retesting of older drivers improved "road safety outcomes".
This isn't surprising, because that evidence does not exist.
The Committee's finding quoted above spells it out. If retesting and retraining everybody does not improve road safety, how is retesting the very small group of people over 85 who still drive going to improve road safety?
That is the conclusion the rest of Australia, and indeed the rest of the world has come to, but Staysafe has decided to stay ignorant.
The Committee also claims that older drivers are more likely to suffer injury than other driver groups as justification for age testing. That in itself raises the questions (a) where is that evidence, and (b) how can testing drivers over 85 lower the injury rate of that driver group when there is no evidence that the group causes more crashes than other groups.
While right now this does not affect me, it may well do so later since I live in a village requiring a 25 minute drive to shop. It is reasonable to expect many people are affected to varying degrees by this baseless policy, and many more people in future will also be needlessly affected. Surely a professional doctor can assess if a person is fit to drive.
Since the policy is political it should be addressed by the Party Leader, taking into consideration the global situation and that with other states, i.e. there is no evidence that drivers aged 85 and over are involved in more road crashes than other age groups.
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