While Taiwan has decided to implement a measure next year requiring senior motorists and motorcyclists aged 75 or over to pass a cognitive test to have their drivers' licenses renewed, a trial run showed that only 68 percent of those taking the mandatory test received a passing score.
The measure has been running on a trial basis since May; and as of late August, 2,718 senior citizens had taken the cognitive test, some of whom are no longer driving, according to statistics compiled by the Directorate General of Highways (DGH).
A mere 68 percent of the test recipients passed the test, the statistics show.
Chen Tsung-chien (???), a division chief at the DGH, said the test is conducted in three parts, including the ability to tell time correctly, recall memories, and make judgments and coordinate hand-eye movements.
Many people who failed the test were frustrated by the requirement to draw a clock, Chen said, noting that some were found unable to position the numbers within the circle while some others drew clock hands with the wrong proportions.
Those who failed the test will not see their driving licenses revoked because the measure is being carried out on a trial basis for now, but he suggested they undergo further examinations at the hospital, Chen said.
Once the measure is formally enforced in January next year, those who fail the test will not be allowed to renew their licenses, the official noted.
Since assuming his duties on May 20, Transportation Minister Ho Chen Tan (???) has made the cognitive test for senior drivers a major policy.
DGH statistics indicate the number of motorists and motorcyclists aged 75 or over has surpassed 580,000.
Last year, 1,696 people died from severe injuries within 24 hours of a traffic accident, 533 of whom were over 65 years old, and were mostly drivers and pedestrians, according to data from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
Source: Focus Taiwan