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2 Dec 2011

We’ve all been there. It’s quarter to nine in the morning, you’re late for work, and you’re stuck behind an elderly driver travelling at 30mph on a 60mph road. It is very frustrating, however we were surprised that 60 percent of motorists feel so inconvenienced that they believe elderly people should be forced to give up their driving licences.  Shockingly almost a quarter (24 per cent) said that by the age of 75, 70 or even younger, motorists should be banned from driving completely!

The research was conducted by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK), who polled 1,005 adults on their views of older drivers. Eighty-five percent of respondents believed re-testing should be compulsory with 40 percent of these saying this should happen at the age of 65 or younger.

While we think asking older drivers to re-take their test is a good idea, it seems a bit harsh to force perfectly capable drivers off the road just because they’ve hit 70. What about all the super-grans and granddads that do sky-dives and live to over 100? It seems cruel to rob them of 30 years of motoring.

At present, drivers are not required to re-take their driving test, however, they must complete a medical questionnaire to confirm they are fit to drive, and must re-apply for their driving licence when they reach the age of 70. This system seems perfectly adequate. Those drivers who do not pass the medical test will quietly be refused a licence renewal and the road will be a much safer place, while motorists with all their faculties intact will be allowed to continue driving. Otherwise the Government will be required to source additional public transport to cope with the hoards of older people suddenly descending on the network.

While there’s no denying that the research from the International Longevity Centre is interesting reading, for once we hope the strength of public opinion does not sway the Government into needlessly banning the older generation from the highway.
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