Parliament: Taxi drivers aged 65 and above to take one medical test instead of two in future

Currently, the Traffic Police require all private car drivers aged 65 and above to pass a medical exam every three years to retain their Class 3 personal driving licence.
Currently, the Traffic Police require all private car drivers aged 65 and above to pass a medical exam every three years to retain their Class 3 personal driving licence.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Taxi drivers aged 65 and above will soon have to take only one medical examination to prove they are fit to drive instead of two separate ones, said Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Traffic Police, which administer a test each, are now working to align the medical assessment process before the end of the year, he said in Parliament on Thursday (Feb 27).

Currently, the Traffic Police require all private car drivers aged 65 and above to pass a medical exam every three years to retain their Class 3 personal driving licence.

Of this group of older drivers, those who wish to get a Taxi Driver Vocational Licence (TDVL) from the LTA also have to pass a medical exam with additional occupation-related health checks.

Responding to Ms Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC), Dr Janil noted that taxi drivers are subjected to a more stringent medical assessment, as they clock a much higher mileage than other motorists.

"Before the end of this year, taxi drivers who have passed their TDVL medical assessment should be able to use them to renew their Class 3 personal driving licences," he said.

Ms Lee welcomed streamlining the assessments, which she said would help older drivers save on medical examination fees.

She urged the Transport Ministry to look into further reducing the fees for proficiency and medical tests that older drivers need to go through.

Separately, she asked if the Transport Ministry would work with taxi companies on reducing rental fees for taxi drivers in the light of the coronavirus outbreak, which has reduced their earnings.

 
 

On reduced test fees, Dr Janil said the ministry would consider Ms Lee's suggestions.

As for helping taxi drivers, he said the Government has announced help for both operators and drivers following the coronavirus outbreak. An example is the $77 million Point-to-Point Support Package to help taxi and private-hire car drivers.

Dr Janil added: "We will continue to... see what is the effectiveness of the interventions we have put in place, and to see whether further interventions are necessary."