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Drivers over the age of 66 should have to retake their driving test

Thursday 16th May, 2013 at 11:05 COMMENTS (2)

Older drivers should be forced to retake their driving test when they turn 66 to prove they are safe on the road according to the majority of motorists in a survey by Auto Trader. 

Over the last 20 years there has been an increase in the number of licence holders over the age of 70 and there are currently more than one million registered motorists over the age of 80. 

At present, there is currently no upper age limit for holding a driving licence.  Drivers over the age of 70 self-certify their fitness with little official regulation.  This has led to calls for an age limit on driving or compulsory retesting - and 60 per cent of nearly 4,000 drivers polled agreed. 

However, despite people believing those over a certain age should retake their test, official statistics from the Department of Transport show those over 70 are safer drivers than younger ones

According to the survey, 73 per cent feel concerned on the road behind an older driver while 30 per cent think older drivers should be allowed fewer points before their licence is revoked. 

Any driving test changes being introduced for the older driver is unlikely , however, as any correlation between growing old and driving safely is not straight forward, makes it difficult for Government to enforce a one rule fits all policy. 

Driving is a combination of experience, attitude, physical health and brain function so what other measures can be introduced to help people to stay on the roads for as long as they are safe to do so?

Older drivers being penalised by insurers

Older drivers are being forced to pay higher premiums or being refused cover altogether once they reach a certain age. 

Analysis of policies by consumer group Which, shows that average premiums increase sharply the older drivers become. 

Insurers state they are entitled to charger higher premiums for older drivers because they are more likely to claim on car insurance and the cost of these claims is greater for this age group. 

Further training

While we don't want to seem ageist, the roads have changed a lot since some of the older drivers started to drive (some of them before you had to take tests). 

As a consequence, older drivers will be less likely to know the rules of the road and will therefore be uncertain how to negotiate complex road layouts or more congested roads. 

It's fair to suggest that Britain's roads are busier than ever and whilst speed limits are reducing in certain areas, progressive driving is being encouraged to avoid congestion. 

Older drivers are much more cautious and unaggressive than their younger counterpart citing this as a positive. 

Whilst techniques have developed to match modern vehicle technologies over the years, the driver's attitude needs to be addressed and this applies to all ages. 

Driver training for any individual is necessary to develop the skills required to drive safely. 

Conclusion

However, despite people believing those over a certain age should retake their test, official statistics from the Department of Transport show those over 70 are safer drivers than younger ones. 

The road accident and casualty figures printed in this article make it abundantly clear that younger drivers are the biggest problem and therefore it is they who must undergo more stringent driving tests before moving on to the elderly. 

I would be interesting to know the average age of those surveyed was as I'm sure all age bands will have a view on what determines safe driving. 

Perhaps the best option would be, retesting every 5 years for everybody, no matter what age. 

HAVE YOUR SAY: Should older drivers be forced to retake their test and if so, what age do you think?

 

COMMENTS
Lanny
Lanny
Thursday 21st September, 2017 @ 4:31 am
Hydraulic Experts
Alex Finn
Alex Finn
Thursday 21st September, 2017 @ 4:31 am
Safely driving is the more important for your life. Because when you drive safely you can lead your life happily.

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