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Instead of taking two separate medical examinations, taxi drivers aged 65 and above will soon have to undergo only one streamlined examination.
In a discussion held in Parliament on Thursday (27 February 2020), Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary stated that taxi drivers aged 65 and above would soon have to take one medical examination, instead of two, to prove that they are still fit to drive.
The two separate examinations are conducted by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Traffic Police (TP) respectively. Now, they are working together to align the medical assessment process to seemingly “merge” into one examination. They hope to achieve this before the end of the year.
Currently, TP requires all private car drivers aged 65 and above to undergo and pass a medical examination every three years to retain their Class 3 personal driving license.
Among this group of old-age drivers, those who wish to acquire a Taxi Driver Vocational License (TDVL) from LTA have to pass a medical examination, which has additional health checks based on their occupation(s).
As a response to Ms Lee Bee Wah, who is from Nee Soon GRC, Dr Janil stated that taxi drivers clock a higher mileage compared to other motorists, thereby needing a more stringent medical assessment.
Ms Lee approved of the examinations combining, which she mentioned would help the drivers save on medical examination fees.
She also urged the Transport Ministry to consider reducing the fees further for proficiency and medical tests for these older drivers.
Aside from this, she asked if the Transport Ministry would collaborate with taxi companies on reducing rental fees for their drivers amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, which has reduced their earnings.
To answer these questions, Dr Janil said they would consider Ms Lee’s suggestions for reduced test fees, but reminded her of the S$77 million package given to taxi and private-hire drivers to aid them during this coronavirus outbreak.
Adding on, Dr Janil stated that they will continue to “see if the effectiveness of the interventions we have put in place, and to see whether further interventions are necessary.”
Source: The Straits Times
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