A plate with an ‘M’, Salamanca’s proposal to mark 70-year-old drivers

The Salamanca Prosecutor’s Office has proposed placing in the vehicles of drivers over 70 years a plate with an ‘M’ to distinguish the elderly behind the wheel on the road. The main objective of this measure is to promote circulation, especially on secondary roads in the province, and for other users to react more relaxed to their maneuvers.

The proposal has received numerous criticisms since they describe it as ‘stigmatizing’ and ‘unnecessary’. It seems that no one has liked it, not the drivers’ associations, nor the associations of traffic accident victims, much less the elderly.

Some even consider that it is violent to identify a person as older, and even believe that this measure would endanger the elderly. Some groups might tease you while you are driving.

The measure of the Salamanca Prosecutor’s Office has been collected in the Memory of the State Attorney General’s Office, and is something similar to the ‘L’ for drivers over 70 years old. In addition, it is accompanied by an additional measure: increase the periodicity of medical examinations for the elderly.

Drivers over 70 years in Spain

According to the National Institute of Statistics there are currently in Spain more than 2.7 million drivers over 70 years. The data indicate that they are the group that is most compliant with traffic and safety regulations.

Jorge Castellanos, head of Road Safety at the Royal Automobile Club of Spain (RACE), points out that this type of measure is completely unnecessary. Each person ages in a certain way and cannot be marked by age. All citizens demonstrate through the psychotechnical exam that they are in full power to drive.

The plate with an ‘M’ is also not explained by the accident data: in Spain 500 people over 65 die every year, more than 50% as pedestrians, and 70% in urban areas.

For its part, platform Stop accidents, indicates that putting a license plate on the rear of the vehicle is not the right thing to do. The age of the driver is not the problem of accidents on the roads, but his mental or physical faculties.

The DGT does not consider this measure

Is there any possibility that the General Directorate of Traffic will implant the plate with an ‘M’? At the moment, no. It makes no sense to put a new signage for those over 70 who do not represent any kind of problem for the road safety.