SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, July 1, 2019 — The Seoul Metropolitan Government unveiled the plan to reward more senior citizens aged 70 or older living in Seoul for voluntarily returning their driver’s license. Last year, up to 1,000 elderly people were able to receive a prepaid T-Money transportation card charged with KRW 100,000 (USD 88) if they stop driving, however now its number has been increased to 7,500 by utilizing funds from the T-money Welfare Foundation.
As the program has been growing popular, more and more people are participating: a total of 1,387 elderly drivers returned their licenses in 2018, and already 8,000 did as of the end of May this year. Drivers eligible for the public transport card must be born before December 31, 1949, turned in their licenses after January 1, 2019 and should live in Seoul as of September 30, 2019.
In addition, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to produce and distribute the “silver marked stickers” for elderly drivers who continue to drive so that other citizens recognize them and yield with regard for aged drivers.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will also continue to provide traffic safety education programs to senior citizens in order to prevent aged people-involved traffic accidents. In cooperation with the Seoul branch of KoRoad, or the Road Traffic Authority of Korea, and civic groups, it has been visiting around 330 institutions frequented used by the elderly, including senior citizen centers, each autonomous district’s welfare facilities and schools for elderly citizens, and providing traffic safety education to some 10,000 senior citizens every year.
Overall traffic accidents had declined by 4.9 percent for the past five years (2014 to 2018), while those caused by senior citizens aged 65 or older had increased by 15 percent. The total number of deaths caused by traffic accidents had decreased by 24 percent during the same period, however the number of elderly people’s deaths due to the traffic accidents had dropped by only 11 percent. In case of injuries, the total number of injuries had fallen by 6.2 percent, but that of elderly injuries had increased by 17.1 percent.