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Drivers in the sunlight: The aim was to make road traffic in Europe safer

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Individual member states will continue to decide on mandatory health tests for drivers in the European Union.

Members of the European Parliament voted on Wednesday against mandatory EU-wide health checks for driving license holders.

Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) once again rejected such a regulation in Germany.

The EU Commission had suggested that drivers must reapply for their driving license every 15 years and submit medical tests or self-declaration about their health.

There was no age limit.

In fact, seniors with limited vision or ability to react would be particularly affected.

With the proposal, the Commission wanted to make road traffic in Europe safer.

According to them, more than 20,000 people die on European roads every year.

A similar regulation on health checks already exists in Italy, for example: Drivers there have to renew their driving license every ten years, every five years from the age of 50, every three years from the age of 70 and every two years from the age of 80.

The move sparked debate about the extent to which older people pose a risk on the roads.

In Germany, seniors are, in absolute terms, less likely to be involved in accidents than younger people - but they also travel significantly less; measured in terms of the kilometers they travel, the risk of accidents is comparable to that of younger drivers.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, seniors involved in accidents are more often the main culprits than younger people.

The law is now going into consultations between the European Parliament and member states, which, however, can only begin after the European elections in June.

The members of the newly elected parliament then sit at the negotiating table.

The states have so far spoken out against mandatory testing.

Transport Minister Wissing once again criticized the Commission's proposal.

"I think government requirements to fill out mandatory self-disclosures and issue medical reports on fitness to drive are an enormous amount of bureaucracy," he told the "Tagesspiegel" on Wednesday.

If the member states decide, such a law should be off the table in Germany.