Tens of Thousands of Elderly People Turn in Driver's Licenses

  • By Lee Dong-hwi

    October 11, 2019 11:18

    Some 43,000 senior citizens voluntarily turned in their driver's license from January to September this year, encouraged by the promise of a free transport pass.

    According to the Road Traffic Authority on Thursday, a total of 43,449 senior citizens voluntarily turned in their driver's license in the first nine months, up a whopping 503.5 percent on-year.

    The number of car accidents caused by elderly drivers increased 48 percent from 20,275 in 2014 to 30,012 in 2018. The proportion of elderly motorists among all drivers also rose from 7 percent to 9.5 percent over the period.

    An elderly man takes a driving aptitude test, in this photo from the Road Traffic Authority.

    Thirty-nine local governments across the country are offering a W100,000 public-transport card if elderly drivers turn in their licenses (US$1=W1,197). They can also be used to pay for purchases in convenience stores.

    Some other local governments give out gift vouchers that can be used at outdoor markets or free bus vouchers.

    The central government will also start providing support for them next year. The National Police Agency is setting aside W1.39 billion from next year budget to pay about 30 percent of the local incentive programs.

    Currently it takes up to 40 days to process each case, but the process will take just a day from early next year.

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