Elderly drivers to face yearly medical exams

DRIVERS over 75 years old on Queensland roads will only have to sit a medical examination once a year, under reforms to the state's driving licenses.

The changes will also include more rigorous education of learner drivers under the Q-SAFE system, Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said on Sunday.

Mr Emerson said the reforms came after community consultations last year, and were recommended by a group of leading road safety experts.

"There is a focus on ensuring our younger drivers are better prepared and educated as they are the most at-risk group when it comes to fatalities on our roads," he said.

"Last year 84 young drivers were involved in fatal crashes - five ahead of the previous year.

"For the first time in 15 years we will be making changes to the Q-SAFE program, which will now include a greater emphasis on high-risk manoeuvres such as turning across on-coming traffic or merging at higher speeds."

The pilot for the new test is expected to be in place by mid-2014.

He said the changes for older drivers would see medical certificates for drivers 75 years or older valid for a full 12 month period from 2014, and possible changes to tests for motorcyclists seeking their licence.

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