News article

ETSC: Overhaul of EU rules on driver medical fitness needed

The current EU approach to assessing whether drivers are medically fit to hold a licence needs substantial revision, according to a new report by ETSC. The report examines the current state of play in European countries regarding the assessment of medical fitness to drive, with reference to current EU rules. The EU is currently reviewing the Directive on driver licensing and a revised legal proposal is expected in 2022.

The report shows that the starting point for many EU countries is still age-based assessment despite the fact that studies have concluded that specific medical conditions, substance abuse, mental disorders, epilepsy and diabetes are more important factors than age when it comes to medical fitness to drive. Mandatory age-based screening of older drivers has not been shown to be effective in preventing severe collisions. It may even have a negative safety impact, as older drivers with revoked licences due to poor health become vulnerable road users.

ETSC is recommending that national governments should make wider use of conditional licences to allow those who may be at slight risk to continue to drive under certain circumstances.


Risks, Human behaviour in traffic, International