Good to limit age for driving heavy vehicles

Having more safeguards for older drivers is a timely and necessary move ("Age limit for driving heavy vehicles raised to 75"; Tuesday).

While I advocate longer employability for older workers, it is also important that we study each occupation in perspective.

Driving a heavy vehicle for a construction firm can be stressful and demanding, as it entails working long hours and meeting targets.

Some drivers try to make as many trips as possible to earn more.

For younger drivers, this is all part of a day's work, to which they are physically and mentally accustomed.

Given that the acuity of our senses - such as sight and hearing - diminishes with age, these losses may interfere with the efficiency of older drivers, which, in turn, could affect their health and well-being.

Even if they are required to undergo enhanced medical and driving tests, the fact remains that they become more vulnerable as they advance in age.

It is, thus, important to impose certain conditions of service for this group of drivers who are in their 70s, and employers would do well to ensure that their workers have sufficient rest and adhere to the maximum number of hours they are allowed to clock.

In short, bosses should ensure that the physical and emotional health of their older drivers is not compromised.

Only with safe practices in place can older drivers and other road users have peace of mind.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 25, 2015, with the headline 'Good to limit age for driving heavy vehicles'. Print Edition | Subscribe