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Ok, Re-Test, Or Ban

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Canary42 | 03:21 Thu 11th Jan 2024 | Motoring
37 Answers 

Here's a controversial topic.  The relatives of a couple killed by an 80 year old driver want age-related re-tests introduced. 

(The 80-y-o had apparently complied with all current requirements.)

So, should there be an upper limit on driving just like there's a lower limit. Or should compulsory driving/medical tests be introduced, say on an annual basis after age 75 possibly.

I have a personal involvement here because I was ever of the opinion that very elderly drivers were a danger on the roads, and it was always my intention that I should give up driving at 80 (although naturally I had reservations as to whether I would go through with it when the time came).  Ironically, a month before my 80th birthday fate intervened and I suffered a TIA** which left me sight-impaired and led to an instant permanent driving ban.




**TIA = transient ischaemic attack, also called a "mini stroke",  a serious condition where the blood supply to the brain is temporarily disrupted.

Transient ischaemic attacks are usually caused by a blood clot blocking the blood supply to the brain.



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Paul - here's a sledge hammer - go crack a nut!

"A good start would be to make every driving licence application, including renewals, to be accompanied by a recent eye-test certificate"

Drivers do not have to renew their driving licences until they reach 70. Unless they are on a short term licence for medical reasons or want to drive HGVs or PSVs, their "entitlement to drive" (i.e. their "licence") lasts until age 70. It is only the photocard representation of that entitlement that has to be renewed. This may sound pedantic but it's not. Somebody with an expired photocard cannot be prosecuted for driving without a licence. This is  apopularly held misconception (so popular that even some insurers try to claim it is true). I can run you through the legislation if you like.

My MIL was 82/83 when she finally gave up driving but only because she had a bad accident with another elderly driver - her insurance was not enough to cover the cost of another car.  Because she is tight she wouldn't spend the money on another car thankfully

She should have given up in her 70s frankly she was a danger - but she would not accept it - all the drs apparently said she was OK to drive!

sorry to carry on from above

retests should carried out - but perhaps the theory one and then if they fail that move onto the practical test

BARRY, I found a spreadsheet from DVLA showing full licence holders in Great Britain, by age, as of 11.11.23.

  70-74          2,330,839
  75-79          2,063,700
  80-84          1,099,700
  85-89             509,956
  90-94             136,897
  95-99                15,641
100-104                   616
105-109                       9

Total                 6,157,458


That doesn't mean they are all out on the road, only that they hold a full licence and one of them is a woman aged 109.

As a licence needs to be renewed from age seventy and again every three year, she must have renewed it fourteen times.

(Formatting often goes awry when I post. If it does, I will upload a screenshot of the figures.)

In Portugal at 70 a medical and eye test is compulsory every 2 years until 80 to renew a licence then from 80 it is yearly

Thank you, Corby

        //Using suitably qualified retired police advanced drivers to undertake  the tests, BUT judge these older drivers on their ability to drive safely and sensibly  //

Lol. I'm just South of 80 years myself .Bring  re-tests on.  I drive slightly slower than I used to but still drive to 'the system'. I'll hang up my driving gloves when I'm blind as a bat (not yet) or other serious medical impairment. It's the yooth round here who drive recklessly.                                                                        

Ban all the over 65s and make them use mobility scooters. Even the ones who have never driven. Then let them loose on the roads or pavements, or in the supermarkrets or pedestrian only areas, wherever the fancyin fact, with no training or ability or vision test and no insurance. Ignore the fact that some of these "mobility" scooters weigh about 20stone without anyone riding them and can do about 18mph if the limiter switch is turned off( easily done)Problem moved. What could possibly go wrong? 

I would address the problem at the other end of the age scale -

Make 25 the age to start driving, three year ban for any culpable accident in the first three years, life ban for drink or drugs conviction.

That would slash death and injury figures overnight.

I am extremely sorry you had a mini-stroke canary and hope you are on clopidogrel


Older drivers are involved in fewer fatal accidents than ANY other age group

fewer older drivers. Or is that baed on percentages rather than absolute numbers?

This link has a bar-chart showing various measures for GB drivers by four ages (ranges?) in 2014 and it's not cut and dried.

looks like I'm at a dangerous age - I don't do "slight" injuries.

Question Author

Some very interesting points raised.  I had hoped the thread wouldn't stray on to the other end of the age spectrum (I  was thinking of starting another thread for that - it grieves me how many teenage lives are lost by drivers in this age group).

Another option I had considered was OAP plates (in fact I had already designed one for myself but the axe fell before I could implement it). And Boy Racer plates for reckless drivers (of all ages). But the latter would become a street cred item so wouldn't work.


Anyway, thanks again for some interesting contributions.

(Yes PP, I am on Clopidogrel for life.)


Clopidogrel? Sounds like poetry by the Liverpool FC manager.


It's a difficult problem as people get older and older, and richer and richer, but not necessarily as capable as they were.

Maybe the problem will be fixed by self-driving cars, or at least more automated or assisted features, before re-tests or bans are put in place.

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