Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong says his ministry never issued any directive for senior citizens aged 70 and above to return their driving licences.
He said driving competency should not be measured based on age, and that there are many factors that contribute to road accidents.
“Competency is a different issue. Like the Langkawi MP (Dr Mahathir Mohamad), he can still drive well, far better than younger people. There is no discrimination,” he said when replying to to a supplementary question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) during the ministers’ question time at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Wee said 80% of road accidents were caused by human factor, 13% by vehicle failure and 7% by the environment.
He added that driving under the influence of alcohol can raise the risk of accidents 13-fold compared to a sober person.
Responding to Syed Ibrahim’s original question on road accidents involving wrong-way drivers, Wee said among the contributing factors of such cases was driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
He said 807 road crash cases involving vehicles driving against the traffic flow were reported this year, 29 of which were fatal accidents. Seventeen cases involved serious injuries, 49 cases involved minor injuries and 702 cases caused damage to vehicles.
He added that the major contributing factors to accidents include speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, using mobile phones or navigation applications and not following road rules.