Elderly drivers may soon need ‘mandatory eyesight tests’ after new safety recommendations

Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAPs to the test

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A new study by the Road Safety Foundation has recommended mandatory tests as part of a series of recommendations to curb incidents on the road. Alongside the eyesight checks, they have also urged officials to set targets to reduce deaths and desirous injuries on the road.

Incidents among drivers over 70 should be cut by 50 percent while there should be longer-term aspirations for zero deaths by 2050.

Other proposals include a new program for making T-junctions safer as this is a “notorious risk-point for older drivers”.

Immediate research should also be made into the impact of physical and cognitive medical conditions on driving.

They have also called for standardised content for Driving Appraisals and a national roll-out of alternative punishments for older motorists found carelessly driving.

Car manufacturers should also make further advances into different restraint systems to take into account the frailty of older motorists.

These include systems such as the split buckle or criss-cross seat belts.

Executive Director of the Road Safety Foundation, Dr Suzy Charman said any changes will provide a “legacy of safer roads”.

She said: “There have been some developments since the previous review, but we want to increase the pace of progress to ensure that we do not see the expected rise in the number of older drivers killed or seriously injured in road crashes.

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“Key recommendations such as introducing mandatory eye tests at licence renewal at aged 70 are considered essential and lifesaving.

“We hope the Department for Transport welcomes the report and can provide the leadership necessary to ensure these recommendations are taken forward.

“Not only will this make driving safer for older drivers, but it will also provide a legacy of safer roads for generations to come.”

The Road Safety Foundation warns older drivers “do not pose a significant risk”.

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