Over 70 year old drivers

Should the driving test be retaken at 70+


  • Total voters
    158

Auld-Yin

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#1
Should older drivers be retested? - BBC News

Straight question, should people have to retake the driving test at 70 and intervals thereafter?

Personally i am close to 67 and my feelings are mixed. I have been driving, without accident or motoring offence, for over 45 years so why should i?

On the other hand driving has changed quite a bit in the same period. The Highway Code was a small pocket sized booklet when I took the test, much different from today's mighty tome.

I have no problems with this but have a couple of reservations. The fees should not be turned into a money maker for the government and should be set at a reasonable figure. The test itself should be modified: drivers have proven they can drive, the new test should concentrate on that ability and should be looking for bad habits, knowledge of the road and general ability to have responsibility for half a ton of metal.

I did wonder whether to place in the NAAFI but this should do. Over to the Arrseratti.
 
#2
I'm 34 and I'd probably fail a theory test if you made me sit one now, I can drive but I've not managed to remember thenstopping distance of a car travelling at 30 mph on a wet surface...

As such I'm not really sure how you tackle the problem of drivers advancing to an age where they are no longer competent. Referral by GP? I can't imagine that'd help build trust with a patient!

If you're going to have a process/test which kicks in at a set age I'd rather see some form of test be developed which assessed motor function, reflexes, recall etc. With the outcome of that being potential for a driving retest. I suppose you could also use it to try and flag up other age related problems
 
#3
Older drivers I find are actually slower and annoyingly careful most of the time.

The problem is 17 -25 year olds racing around like Sebastian Vettel in souped up old hatchbacks.
Personally for the first 2 years I would limit the engine size to a 1.0 and restrict it to 70mph.
 
#4
Should older drivers be retested? - BBC News

Straight question, should people have to retake the driving test at 70 and intervals thereafter?

Personally i am close to 67 and my feelings are mixed. I have been driving, without accident or motoring offence, for over 45 years so why should i?

On the other hand driving has changed quite a bit in the same period. The Highway Code was a small pocket sized booklet when I took the test, much different from today's mighty tome.

I have no problems with this but have a couple of reservations. The fees should not be turned into a money maker for the government and should be set at a reasonable figure. The test itself should be modified: drivers have proven they can drive, the new test should concentrate on that ability and should be looking for bad habits, knowledge of the road and general ability to have responsibility for half a ton of metal.

I did wonder whether to place in the NAAFI but this should do. Over to the Arrseratti.
I think so. Two relatively recent fatal crashes in my area involved drivers in their 80s driving the wrong way on a motorway. One lad did a U-Turn at a toll booth. That said L Drivers in Ireland aren't allowed on the motorway so they can't be given practical lessons on motorway driving. In recent years I have encountered older people driving the wrong way around a roundabout and turning onto a motorway off ramp as well as one Darwin candidate happily driving teh wrong way on a motorway. This one survived. Such mistakes are not confined to the over 70s. To make matters worse there is an army of fully licensed drivers in their 60s and up who never took a test because some genius in 1979 decided to clear the drivers test backlog by giving a full license to anyone who had held two Provisional licenses.

There may be a case to be made for retesting eveyone at intervals.
 
#5
No......Not unless there is reason to believe the faculties/ability of the old bastards is affecting their ability to control vehicles safely.

Then yes and if the person refuses withdraw driving licence.

Most people's eyesight deteriorates when they get older but none of this is reflected in licensing regulation.
If the person doesn't see the doctor then DVLA will not be informed and will be unable to issue advice or cancel a licence.
 

Auld-Yin

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#6
No......Not unless there is reason to believe the faculties/ability of the old bastards is affecting their ability to control vehicles safely.

Then yes and if the person refuses withdraw driving licence.

Most people's eyesight deteriorates when they get older but none of this is reflected in licensing regulation.
If the person doesn't see the doctor then DVLA will not be informed and will be unable to issue advice or cancel a licence.
Trouble is the faculties/abilities only come into question after an accident, which is a tad late. This suggestion is to try and mitigate the issue.
 
#8
Trouble is the faculties/abilities only come into question after an accident, which is a tad late. This suggestion is to try and mitigate the issue.
Is there a legal requirement for doctors to notify the licensing authorities where a person has been diagnosed with a condition that impairs driving? That would be a practical step although you then open the patient confidentiality can of worms.
 
#10
Older drivers I find are actually slower and annoyingly careful most of the time.

The problem is 17 -25 year olds racing around like Sebastian Vettel in souped up old hatchbacks.
Personally for the first 2 years I would limit the engine size to a 1.0 and restrict it to 70mph.
"Annoyingly careful" .... Hmmmmmm. Interesting phrase that.
 
#11
Trouble is the faculties/abilities only come into question after an accident, which is a tad late. This suggestion is to try and mitigate the issue.
Mandatory tests at say age 70 will saturate the system. As it currently stands it can be a two to three Month wait to get a test date.

The Government would have to drastically increase examiners test centres ect and all that comes with a cost. That cost will be passed on and I can hear the whining now... All to weed out <10% of the population who shouldn't be driving?

A lot of this is personal responsibility. My mother decided one day her eyesight was not as good as it was and just stopped driving. Never has done since age 75ish and she is now 80.

What could be of benefit is mandatory eye tests and motor skills at local health centres. Not testing the standard of driving but the actual ability of the person to do it safely.

If there is likely to be an accident it will be because of a health related abnormality, not the ability to drive (which is what the test covers) where they person may have 40> years of experience.

Local health centres could do more to identify these issues and advise accordingly. I do know that eye specialists have a minimum standard. If you are unable to make that they automatically advise DVLC.
 
#12
Is there a legal requirement for doctors to notify the licensing authorities where a person has been diagnosed with a condition that impairs driving? That would be a practical step although you then open the patient confidentiality can of worms.
Yes there must be. I had an ongoing case of blepharitus last year which took 3 Months to resolve. The consultant told me I was borderline at the time and if it got any worse he would have to inform DVLC who would suspend my licence.

GMC | Disclose to the DVLA if a patient should not be driving, doctors told

Edit to add.

As it happened I chose not to drive anyway until the problem resolved itself and told the consultant this. He said he may still advise DVLA though.

Some of them just take the scattergun approach and inform anyway.Better safe than sorry and the safety of the general public outweighs the confidentiality of the patient.

It's all a matter of common sense. why would confidentiality and advising DVLC come into it when something could impair your ability to drive when they are the people who need to know anyway.
 
Last edited:
#13
Older drivers I find are actually slower and annoyingly careful most of the time.

The problem is 17 -25 year olds racing around like Sebastian Vettel in souped up old hatchbacks.
Personally for the first 2 years I would limit the engine size to a 1.0 and restrict it to 70mph.
Restricted to 70?
It may have passed you by, but that is the National speed limit. No one should exceed it.


Snigger..
 

Auld-Yin

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#14
Mandatory tests at say age 70 will saturate the system. As it currently stands it can be a two to three Month wait to get a test date.

The Government would have to drastically increase examiners test centres ect and all that comes with a cost. That cost will be passed on and I can hear the whining now... All to weed out <10% of the population who shouldn't be driving?

A lot of this is personal responsibility. My mother decided one day her eyesight was not as good as it was and just stopped driving. Never has done since age 75ish and she is now 80.

What could be of benefit is mandatory eye tests and motor skills at local health centres. Not testing the standard of driving but the actual ability of the person to do it safely.

If there is likely to be an accident it will be because of a health related abnormality, not the ability to drive (which is what the test covers) where they person may have 40> years of experience.

Local health centres could do more to identify these issues and advise accordingly. I do know that eye specialists have a minimum standard. If you are unable to make that they automatically advise DVLC.
A lot of GP practices call in patients for an MoT when they reach certain ages and give them a medical. This is to find out if there are any latent medical conditions that come with age. To this could be added a driving specific test for eyesight, reaction time and any other medical issues regarding fitness to drive. This would not add greatly to the GPs workload as he/she would probably be checking them anyway, although no doubt the GPs would hold out for a huge pay rise! :(
 
#17
Just look at the insurance premiums and that will tell you who is more dangerous , I am well over 70 and drive a high milage each year , many of them at high speed on the continent and have maximum no claims and a clean licence
 
#18
The problem is 17 -25 year olds racing around like Sebastian Vettel in souped up old hatchbacks.
Personally for the first 2 years I would limit the engine size to a 1.0 and restrict it to 70mph.
Make it 55 :) but good idea.

I'd suspend all licences involved in a crash too. Once blame was sorted, a test could be conducted on the driver.

Ranging from assessment to requalification.
 
#19
My Father in Law who is 99 this year, still has his old red booklet licence.
Does this mean that the old count could still get behind the wheel?
 
#20
Everyone should be retested every 5 years, they could set up simulators so they could be tested on real problems. People don't get killed when the situation is normal it's the inability of drivers to do the right thing when it starts to go wrong that causes the trouble. It will never happen because too many people would vote against any party that suggested it scared they'd lose their licence.
 

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