Age limit for cabbies to be upped to 70

By Sun Hsin Hsuan, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taxi drivers will soon come equipped with greater wisdom and insight into life’s mysteries, after the government announced Tuesday it would raise the age limit for cabbies from 68 to 70,

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is set to amend the Regulations on Road Traffic Safety (道路交通安全規則) this month, with the new rules hopefully becoming effective by April 1. The news was well received by drivers’ representatives, with Taipei City Taxi Drivers’ Union director Wang Ming-hsiung (王明雄) saying “Isn’t it cruel to block a person from making a living by driving taxis if he’s in fine physical shape and has a family to take care of?”

In an online statement, the MOTC said it believed the public would still not accept having 80-year-old taxi drivers but that “owing to the aging society and growing delay in retirement” as well as after taking other countries’ experiences into account, it had decided to relax the regulations. Those above 68 years old applying for a professional driver’s licenses will have to complete a physical examination and acquire a certificate declaring them free of dementia. Qualified applicants will be issued a one-year operation license. Drivers must reapply for the license upon expiration, which will require another physical examination. Drivers who are involved in injury-causing accidents but who do not have their licenses revoked must undergo additional physical health and mental health checks. 30,000 Drivers Affected According to Directorate General of Highways (公路總局), approximately 35 percent of professional drivers are aged between 60 and 68.