New senior citizens get a reprieve on driving tests
Motorists will have to obtain a medical certificate proving they are fit to drive every time they renew their licence under legislation passed in the House of Assembly tonight.
But the age at which seniors have to take a re-test as been raised from 65 to 70.
In a second piece of legislation, the Minister of Transport will have the authority to allow vehicles to be relicensed even if they have not passed a TCD inspection – but only during times of national emergency.
Lawrence Scott, the transport minister, gave both bills their second and third readings during a virtual session of the House this evening.
He said that, under the Motor Car (Driver’s Licence Renewal) Amendment Act 2021, driving licenses will have to be renewed every ten years, and a medical certificate will have to be provided.
He said the new law will help with the detection of chronic illnesses such as diabetes by encouraging people to take a medical exam.
And he said it made sense to increase the age at which seniors must take a re-test because people were living longer and staying healthier.
Mr Scott said the Motor Car and Auxiliary Bicycles (Validation and Amendment Act) 2021, was drafted in the wake of last year’s lockdown following the initial Covid-19 outbreak.
The minister explained the Transport Control Department had shut down for several months from last March – stranding motorists whose vehicle licenses had expired.
According to Mr Scott, Government consulted with insurance companies about the problem at the time, with one firm responding that it would not issue insurance certificates before vehicles had passed a TCD inspection.
Mr Scott said the new bill will be applied retroactively.
Both bills were supported by the Opposition One Bermuda Alliance.