Eighty-three-year-old Tainan resident Hsu Chiu-yueh (徐秋月) has obtained a heavy scooter license after finally passing a driving test last month.
Hsu said although she has a car driver’s license and a scooter license, she usually rides a normal heavy scooter.
The Road Traffic Security Rules (道路交通安全規則) classifies scooters by size, with small light scooters receiving white license plates and red lettering; normal light scooters, with green plate and white lettering; normal heavy scooters, with white plates and black lettering; and large heavy scooters, with yellow plates and black lettering.
Photo: Yang Chin-cheng, Taipei Times
In late May police stopped Hsu for making an illegal turn, and she was fined NT$2,400 for the offense along with riding a vehicle she was not licensed for, she said.
While passers-by had asked the police officer to take Hsu’s age into account and waive the fine, Hsu said she rejected the idea.
She said she had been an officer on the Second Special Police Corps before she retired 20 years ago, adding: “If I broke the law, I should be punished for it.”
Hsu said she went to the Department of Motor Vehicles in Sinying District (新營) the next day and paid her fines, and signed up to take the driving test for a normal heavy scooter license.
After passing a physical exam, Hsu failed her first and second attempts at the driving test. She eventually passed and received her license on June 12.
Department official Lee Chiu-chieh (李秋杰) said Hsu could be the oldest person in Taiwan to take a scooter driving test.
While there is no law prohibiting elderly people from taking driving tests, the department hopes that they would refrain from driving or riding scooters and instead use public transportation, Lee said.
The Elderly Drivers License Management Act (高齡駕駛人駕照管理辦法) promulgated on July last year states that people born before July 1, 1942, should go to a local motor vehicle office to exchange their licenses for new ones, Lee said.
They would have to undergo physical examinations, and would be tested for cognitive functions, which could be waived if they provide hospital documents proving they are not afflicted with mid-level dementia, he added.
While the changes are not mandatory, elderly people would be notified, and are compelled to appear at their local department office within three months if they violate traffic regulations, Lee said.
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