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Dalby driver stands by compulsory medical testing

Rilla Witt, 80, has no issue with having to renew her medical certificate each year to keep her licence.
Rilla Witt, 80, has no issue with having to renew her medical certificate each year to keep her licence. Lauren Gallagher

DESPITE concerns over compulsory medical testing of elderly drivers, 80-year-old Dalby resident Rilla Witt says she believes it is the right thing to do.

Since January 1, State Government regulation required drivers aged 75 or older to have their compulsory medical certificate renewed every 12 months.

Mrs Witt said she had no issue with renewing her medical certificate each year, stating she had full faith in her general practitioner's assessment.

"These things need to be done... I don't think it's a bad thing to be checking on people's health," she said.

"It's good we can have something like this so we can keep driving instead of there being a cut-off age."

Mrs Witt's sentiments are not shared by Jandowae woman Celia Jeitz, 89, who lost her licence after visiting the doctor with a sore leg.

Two weeks before her licence was due to be renewed, her doctor asked her to take a driving test.

Her driving was assessed by Sergeant Mark Avent, who deemed her dangerous to other road users, and declined the renewal.

"I didn't have any problem driving. It takes away the whole of your independence," Mrs Jeitz said.

Mrs Jeitz will now have her necessary travel requirements arranged by Jandowae Domiciliary Nursing. Jandowae domiciliary nurse Simone Dalgliesh said the loss of a licence could have a huge emotional impact.

"It's something they have had their whole adult life and suddenly it's taken away from them" she said.

Mrs Dalgliesh said community groups providing transport for elderly members in the community who could no longer drive have experienced a spike in demand.

In the past year, demand in Jandowae has jumped 200%.

"There is a huge need for more transport options," Mrs Dalgliesh said.

Topics:  dalby, driving, elderly, jandowae, police


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