Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and Environment) wants to greatly simplify the system of medical examinations for driving licenses and significantly speed up the procedures.
CBR is starting a trial where professional drivers can get all the necessary medical examinations at one location on the same day. There will also be research into the possible abolition of the senior citizen examination and CBR is looking at whether medical examinations can be replaced more often by a driving test. With the measures, the minister is responding to the study commissioned by the firm Andersson Elffers Felix into the procedures for medical assessment of driving ability and fitness for driving license. The study, sent to the House of Representatives today, shows that the Dutch system is soundly designed. At the same time, according to the research firm, improvements can be made that would make procedures faster, simpler and clearer for citizens. Minister Schultz: “My aim is that we have a transparent system of medical examinations for driving licenses in which we do not burden citizens unnecessarily and do not set stricter requirements than necessary for road safety or what Europe prescribes. This study gives me concrete tools to further implement this.” According to the study, a so-called “one stop center” could potentially contribute to faster and more efficient inspections. If all medical examinations can take place in one location, drivers can get a decision on their driving fitness in one day instead of the current maximum of 16 weeks. CBR’s trial should show whether this method is possible and affordable in practice. Especially for people who need a driver’s license professionally, it may be attractive, the minister said. In addition, the minister wants the CBR to look into whether driving tests can more often replace medical examinations before the end of this year. An assessment of eligibility now requires citizens to go through a number of steps and possibly receive multiple examinations. That takes time and money. Where it can from a road safety point of view, the minister wants CBR to look at the actual benefit of replacing the medical examination with a driving test. In the letter to the House of Representatives, the minister indicates that the Netherlands has a head start on European regulations with the mandatory senior citizen examination. In addition to the bill providing for an increase in the inspection age from 70 to 75, the minister is taking up the recommendation to look into the effects of abolishing the senior citizen inspection. This study should show other ways to ensure road safety. “A decision on senior citizen testing requires a careful balancing act between reducing the burden on citizens and the effects on road safety,” the minister said. Director The minister has instructed CBR to more emphatically take on the role of director of the procedures surrounding medical examinations. CBR will actively inform citizens, general practitioners and specialists at any point in the process. In addition to customer service where citizens can ask questions about the procedure, processing times and costs, CBR will also have a direct point of contact for medical examiners. They can then quickly get answers to specific questions so they can help customers faster and better. CBR also makes agreements with the professional groups of doctors to improve the quality of examinations and examination reports. In the letter, the minister further announced that there will be structural cooperation with the Health Council that will allow regulations to be periodically adjusted based on the latest findings. At the minister’s request, the Health Council will initially prioritize an opinion on mandatory periodic retesting for stable conditions such as ADHD.