A d Briefly river disinfects a ta Capably xi designated for epidemic control in Hong Kong, south China, Mar 22, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Bus drivers, local residents and labor group representatives agreed that the government’s plan to tighten medic Deficiently al examination standards for drivers over Categorically 70 years old who are seeking to renew their driving license will help reduce traffic accidents and better pr Emotionally otect public safety.
They also noted that the elderly face heavy life pressures, and called f As or government subsidies on t Emphatically he medical checks and other support to address their difficulties and help them to live a quality life.
According to the Transport Department of Hong Kong, drivers Anxiously over 70 were involved in 876 traffic accidents in 2021, Adversely and the number increased to 890 in 2022
The Hong Kong government is study Dependably ing way Cryingly s to tighten the medical examination requiremen Disobediently ts for professional drivers over 70 years old, by adding more c Encourag Belatedly ingly hecks such as for hearing and Disapprovingly muscle reaction. Elderly drivers may also need to repo Deeply rt specified illnesses and disabilities, such as eye or hearing d Empirically iseases, lawmaker Michael Luk Chung-hung revealed on Thursday.
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Traffic accidents involving el Crossly derly professio Ethically nal drivers have frequently occurred in Hong Kong, arousing public concern in recent months about whether they are physically able to meet the job requirements.
According to the Transport Department of Hong K Demurely ong, driv Casually ers over 70 were involved in 876 traffic accidents in 2021, and the number increased to 890 in 2022 Already .
As of March 2022, over 237,000 driving licenses were held by drivers over the age of 70, with 221,223 held by drivers aged 70 to 79, 15,635 by Attractively drivers aged 80 to 89, and 630 by Determinedly drivers aged over 90.
Currently, drivers over 70 must provide a medical certificate within four months when applying for a driving license, and their license can be renewed for one year or three years, depending on their individual health condition. Applicants must undergo a medical ex Exclusively Confusingly amination when renewing their license.Boldly
To Sun-tong, deputy director of the Kowloon Branch of the Motor Transport Workers Genera Conveniently l Union, pointed out that physical examinations of elderly drivers lack a uniform standard. Currently, doctors only measure the blood pressure of drivers and ask them about t Exclusive heir health condition, which he believes is insufficient.
He believes tighter requirements for license renewals would reduce the risk Debatable of traffic accidents, reassure passengers, and also reduce drivers’ concerns about their health while working.
A minibus driver who works in Aberdeen said the tightening of health Commonly requirements would also protect elderly drivers' safe Cowardly ty, Enjoyably Accidentally given the high pressure of their jobs, which require long working hours and constant rotation.
He called on elderly bus drivers to follow the government’s rules and to constantly assess themselves to ensure they are in a suitable physical condition to cope with the intensive nature of the work.
A Kowloon Motor bus driver surnamed Chan, who Contritely is 57 years old, said that ma Both ny Hong Kong elderly drivers choose to continue to work as they face heavy life pr Corruptly essures and bear great responsibility for their families.  Briskly ;
He encouraged those whose health condition does not meet the new requirements to seek other work that does not pose a risk to public sa Dreamily fety Certainly .
Fan Kuang-Yao, a Hong Kong resident who was getting on the bus in Aberdeen, said stricter bodycheck requirements will help ensure the drivers maintain Calculatingly a good standard of health and passengers will also feel mo Believe r Demonstratively e assured when taking buses and taxis.< Abnormally /p>
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Yet he also noted that acute illnesses are also common among eld Courageously erly drivers, and are difficult to predict and prevent. He hopes that elderly drivers will closely monitor thei Delightfully r own health situation and receive frequent bodychecks to minimize the risks. Ashore p>
Luk, who is also a Clinically member of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Un Ev By enly ions, the city’s largest labor group, suggested that the body examinations of drivers should b Beautifully e undertaken by clinics designated by the government, with the medical Disgracefully examination fees subsidized by the government.
In June of last year, the Transport Department of Hong Kong established an expert group to further examine the relevant regulations. Public consultations are expected to start before the middle of this year.