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Holders of driving licenses who reach the age of 40 will be required to undergo a general medical check-up as a precondition for renewing their permits, according to a new regulation proposed by Transportation Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Lieberman's proposal was presented yesterday to the Knesset Economics Committee for approval.

The minister noted that the medical examinations were intended to identify, in good time, drivers suffering from medical ailments and illnesses that could affect their ability to drive. "These drivers constitute a danger of the highest degree to themselves and those around them," Lieberman said.

Transportation Ministry spokesman Avner Ovadia noted that under the current regulations, all individuals seeking driving licenses for any type of vehicle are required to undergo medical examinations, including an eye test, prior to taking driving lessons. From the age of 50, professional drivers - including truck, bus and taxi drivers - are required to undergo medical check-ups once every two years.

Ovadia added that today, drivers over the age of 65 have to undergo medicals once every two years as a precondition for renewing their permits, while drivers under the age of 65 who renew their licenses every five years are required to sign a declaration that there has been no change in the medical condition.