Elderly drivers should face ‘more frequent’ licence renewals

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The Older Drivers Task Force has warned that there will be more than one million drivers over the age of 85 by 2025. It added it is “vital” that changes are made to “prepare for this demographic change”. However, some have slammed the proposed changes.

Despite the calls, there are no official Government plans to go through with any proposals as of yet.

Tom Hixon, Head of Instructor Support at Bill Plant Driving School, said that while the introduction of a maximum driving age could be “unfair”, there are other solutions that could help.

Mr Hixon added: “There is currently no upper age limit on driving, however, you are required to renew your licence at the age of 70 and again every three years after your 70th birthday.

“The licence renewal requires confidential medical details to be submitted to the DVLA to ensure you are capable and competent enough to continue driving on the road.

“This is a legal requirement, therefore, if your GP believes your medical condition could impact your road safety, they have the right to disclose that to the DVLA without your permission.”

The expert continued: “With this in mind, we can assume that everyone who has had their licences renewed from this age is safe to drive. However, this may not account for the three years between each renewal.

“It is difficult to definitively say whether it should or shouldn’t be implemented as there are many factors that could determine someone’s ability to drive.”

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Mr Hixon stressed that there are instances of young people being unsafe on the roads and that it’s not necessarily age that determines “who’s safe or not”.

He said: “Many older people maintain their health and driving competence long past their 70th birthday, therefore it could be unfair to take away their driving freedoms based solely on their age.

“Perhaps the best solution to this concern would be more frequent renewals than every three years.”

Several Express.co.uk readers have also previously voiced their concerns about the introduction of a maximum driving age.

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One reader named thedukejohn said: “Some countries respect their elderly and revere them. Britain is not one of them!”

EDPW added: “It is unacceptable to target the elderly when statistically they are the safest drivers.”

Holmewood commented: “I am 85, retired two years ago, paying my corporation tax.

“I have a clean licence, clean insurance. I have an eye test annually as I have had two operations to stall glaucoma.

“I drive a BMW 3ltr M sport, and a BMW Classic 4Ltr V8. I am not overconfident but cautious.

“We are all born with similar abilities, but we all end at a different time of life.

“Maybe a basic observation of vehicle handling by an accredited driving instructor could satisfy the blame shifters. After all what group causes most accidents? Thanks.”

Elderly drivers can use the DVLA’s service to renew their driving licence if they are 70 or over, or if they will be 70 in the next 90 days.

The DVLA will automatically send drivers a D46P application form 90 days before their 70th birthday, allowing drivers to renew.

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