Is There A Law That Says A Person Should Stop Driving At A Certain Age?

According to Malaysian laws, the minimum age to apply for a B2 (motorcycle license 250 c.c. and below) and B Full (over 501 c.c. and above) is 16 years. To secure a D (car) license you have to be 17 years old. For other licenses, classes E (lorry) and I (heavy tractor 5000 kg and above) one has to be 21 years and above.

Many readers inquire, is there a law prohibiting one from driving due to old age?

There is no law to say that a person will be prohibited from driving when reaches a certain age. Therefore, a person can continue to keep on driving as long as he or she feels competent enough to do so.

However, certain criteria has to be met. What criteria are we looking for? The first factor should actually be eyesight. As normal person should be able to see a minimum of 23 meters. Maybe, it would seem slightly absurd to expect a 77 year old driver to see that far.

If one needs spectacles or “contact” lens to assist him see thus far, it should be perfectly alright.

Another requirement with regards to eyesight is the ability to see at least 100 metres away. Again, glasses and contact lens come into play.

In reality a driver, irregardless of whatever age he may be, he “must be able” to see the traffic lights well. Being able to do the above would verify a driver’s capability to drive safely.

The second factor which qualifies a driver to drive is hearing. To drive safely, a driver should be able to hear vehicles approaching from the rear, police sirens and ambulance wailing, cars horning at him and so forth.

The ability to do the above well, again qualifies him to drive. What age he is would not be a factor to ban him or her from driving.

However, pertaining to eyesight, is the question of astigmatism. This weakness essentially is “light splitting” causing our vision to blur and thus become poor or “unclear”. This usually occurs when night driving.

In such cases, a driver suffering from “astigmatism”, is therefore advised against driving at night. But day driving would be still alright!

The third criteria to consider would be good reflexes. Irregardless of age of a driver, good reflexes of the arms and legs are extremely important.

Are the footwork still capable of applying brakes fast in emergency situations? Are the hands capable of quick reflexes?

Likewise, are the hands still capable of quick reflexes, especially in changing gears? In short, is a driver, no matter what his age is, still possess “alertness”?

Finally, a person who wishes to drive should be able to remember roads and places well. He should also provide no problem to other road users.

For an old person, driving today can be rather straining or “tiring”. If a driver can take all these in his stride, there is no reason for him to quit driving.

He can keep on driving for as long as he desires, as there is nothing in the Malaysian laws that says a driver cannot drive when he reaches a certain age.

So to all you Malaysian drivers in their 70’s, 80’s or even 90’s, keep on driving, but remember, drive “carefully”. That’s the important thing!