Should drivers over 70 be tested every three years?

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A man whose wife was killed by an elderly driver, who mistook the accelerator for the brake, has started a popular online petition calling for over-70s to be retested every three years.

Ben Brooks-Dutton, whose wife, Desreen, was killed by an elderly driver who mistook the accelerator for the brake is championing this petition.

At the moment, drivers over age 70 in the UK must fill in a self-assessment form every three years to renew their licences. The form doesn’t include a medical or driving test.

Brooks-Dutton’s petition is addressed to Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin. On the government’s official website, petitions that reach 100,000 signatures are considered for a debate in Parliament.

In 2013, the Department of Transport said there is no evidence older drivers are more likely to cause an accident, and it had no plans to restrict licensing on the basis of age.

Do you agree with Ben? Should drivers over 70 face compulsory driving tests every 3 years?

Should drivers over 70 be tested every three years?

560 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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lady of leisure
18th Dec 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
I think all drivers should have to periodically demonstrate their fitness to drive and theoretical and practical driving abilities.In that way no age group would be stigmatised.Many elderly people do continue to drive after their cognitive and physical abilities have declined .However many a younger person is not fit to drive either! Those road users operating outside the law(no licence, tax or insurance etc)should be subject to more robust meaningful penalties.
I remain to be convinced the existing testing methods and self declaration are 'fit for purpose.'
I live in a family urban road which is designated a main route with parking allowed on one side only,and is therefore subject(though unmarked) at 30mph.It has at the lower end traffic lights and at the higher end a tight double bend.
All manner of vehicles and drivers speed down and screech to a halt at the lights;while many go so fast UP the hill they have to brake to negotiate the turn. 15 minutes observation of the idiocy of these people should be enough for the police to relieve most of them of their licences .Clearly the average driver has no appreciation of speed or distance,road law,consideration for others or indeed how to drive smoothly and economically.
I have been a motorist since my 17th birthday and have always believed driving should be treated as a skill to be continually upgraded.Offending drivers even when called to account face too lenient penalties ,and driver re education is insufficiently deployed.
At a time when Britains' road are at their historically most congested improving road craft standards and /or reducing the number of users seems reasonable.


Just PLEASE train and test drivers attitudes and behaviour in ' real world'situations.
Margaret Hart
21st Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
If this were to happen perhaps it would be a good idea for everybody then we may get rid of the idiots on the roads. Those who race around and use mobile equipment while they should be concentrating
On driving. People with radios on so loud they can't hear themselves think but they deafen everybody around. Most drivers need to improve not some of the elderly who usually act with much more courtesy.
AnnHar1
21st Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Whilst I agree that more accidents are caused but idiot drivers using their phones etc whilst driving i do agree that our reactions slow down as we age. We should be tested regularly after a certain age this is the law in some countries particularly Australia where my father in law had to be assessed was told to change to an automatic vehicle and eventually only allowed to drive for restricted distances i.e. to church, the post office, the supermarket, market etc and then after a small accident in which no other vehicle was involved he had his licence taken away
Alicia
21st Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
We need to do something to cut the amount of "accidents" on the roads today but what ?
There are a lot of careless drivers of all ages now.
janieb
21st Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I feel this should be applicable to all drivers irrespective of age...although not every 3 years ! We all become complacent and a clean licence does not mean that we are necessarily good or competent drivers. If not a retest then possibly a refresher course...has anyone updated themselves on the Highway Code since passing their test ?
Kezziedog
20th Nov 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
Those of us who "think" we are fine driving .... are possibly "kidding" ourselves , we should at least have a vision test .
Red Head Swift
19th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
It’s an age thing and like the rest of us I have had a bus pass for some time. All the friends of my generation recognize that driving is not as easy as it was because our eye sight and reactions are not as good as they were and we all know that we get flustered more easily.

There is more and more traffic on the road and there will be even more traffic as the population grows. Plus ever more cyclists, cyclist who seem to have no regard for other road users or their own safety.

Into this complicated mix we add an ageing population who cannot see as well as it used to and whose reaction times have slowed down.

The first step should be the withdrawal the self-selection process at 70. It should be a requirement that at 70 we have to have our eyesight reconfirmed and get a safe to drive signature from our GP.
celtwitch
17th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I'm 67 and have been driving for 50 years, I have not had an accident and have only ever had points for speeding (120mph in a 30 zone) I always drive 2 feet from the car in front to leave more road space for other drivers.
I carry a loaded shotgun at all times to dissuade road ragers to back off when they try to intimidate me, it usually does the trick, though I did have to shoot a Polish lorry driver who thought he owned the road.
Let;'s show a bit of respect for older, safer drivers.
celtwitch
17th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I forgot to add that I passed my driving test in Bombay!
Jo Kingham
17th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Definitely re-tested. If they are still safe to drive then what do they have to worry about. My mother-in-law voluntarily surrendered her licence (at 80) as she knew she was not confident driving anymore but many don't and drive so slowly that it can be dangerous (especially on motorways)
grannyhubbard
16th Nov 2015
0
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Some should not be allowed on the road, others are fine.
Jang64
15th Nov 2015
1
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As long as eye sight is adequate and faculties all there older drivers are often safer drivers
PeterR
15th Nov 2015
2
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I am diabetic and have to have medical approval every 3 years and over 70's do as well but retested no when you look at the statistics its the 17 to 24 who have the greatest number of accidents not the over 70's. Maybe over 80's but even then the number accidents are low. The problem with this suggestion it comes from someone who has lost a loved one to a over 70's driver so it comes from emotion rather than reason
jeanmark
20th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree with you PeterR, my 20 year old nephew was killed by a man in his fifties who didn't mistake his accelerator for the brake but rather forgot there was a brake. He apparently didn't need a re-test.
Surfergirl
14th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
Surely we could say it was an infringement of our human rights- every one else does ! If we did something wrong maybe but to do it across the board when we are innocent of any crime-no ! no!
Westminster
14th Nov 2015
4
Thanks for voting!
I would not object to being re-tested.

Every five years would be more reasonable than three.

Although we mainly think we are still pretty hot, our reactions are not as good as when we were younger.

I have neighbours who are still driving in their eighties, but they are comparitively harmless as they just tootle a couple of miles to Waitrose then home again.

I feel it is wise for elderly motorists to avoid motorways, and long trips, know your limitations.
Dullahan78
14th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
What a poor reason to want to avenge the poor womans death to apply a test to all drivers over seventy yrs of age.
Make a comparison with lorry drivers, do we call for all lorry drivers to be tested.
If you must make comparisons try comparing senior citizen drivers accidents to those drivers under 25 years of age. I am eighty three and still drive. The insurance companies are the best judges I have been with my insurers for over 40 years and get a 75% discount whereas younger people pay 4 times higher for their insurance than I do. Because I am less of a risk
molly 65
13th Nov 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
I have been driving since I was 17 yrs old (1967) and never had an accident or any points on my license. I always drive in a competent way, in a careful way etc. I rely on my car as I am arthritic and I hope that when I am no longer competent, I will stop driving of my own accord and NOT because I have been forced to take another test.
This is another example of ageism - lets get the 17 - 25 yr olds off the road - they have the most accidents!!
Brian C
13th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Over 70's cause the fewest accidents 17-24 yr olds cause the most deaths. I had a brother-in-law and his friend killed in a hit and run by a drunken driver who knew to drive home and leave them dying at the roadside was the way to flaunt the law. His job was lorry driving. He gave himself up the next day, deaths were classed accidental, he got off with a small fine for driving without due care and attention he was in his 40's. I had an Uncle killed on the pavement by a woman in her 20's who was texting and lost control, again a small fine. We should have a USA type law of Vehicular Manslaughter carrying a sentence of up to life imprisonment, until this happens the carnage will just go on because our laws around killing people with motor cars are just criminally inadequate. This petition is well intentioned but targeting the wrong people, by the way I am 67 have driven for 40 years and am accident free.
KVQ
12th Nov 2015
-1
Thanks for voting!
Reactions slow, eye sight becomes less acute, so I think we should be prepared to be tested every two years at a minimum. It has frightened me to death seeing some of these elderly, "safe" drivers, almost peering through the steering wheel, making risky, slow decisions in the fast, moving traffic. This traffic is not going to slow down in the coming years so we have to be "up to speed ourselves"! Most of us know when we are not safe, this is for those who don't!
Coach1946
12th Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I have been a professional driver all my working life, much of it hgv. We have medicals every 5 years from 45 onwards.Now retired, still driving around 15k miles a year and will soon be 70. Still in good health with better than legal eyesight.I think an assessment every 5 years would be adequate, unless health issues interviened.Some elderly drivers are a bit slow, better that than too fast . The young and inexperienced are penalised on insurance for a reason.
delcabs
12th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
It has been my opinion for many years that all drivers should be assessed every 3 years. At one time a license had to be renewed in 3 year stages. Truck, bus and cab drivers have to have regular medicals. Picking on over 70s is discrimination.
supers
12th Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
As a 67 year old professional driver I have to have a medical every year to keep my PCV licence and strongly believe that a regular medical for any driver aged 70 and over should be adopted.
jeanmark
20th Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
How would you define a medical other than for obvious health reasons. People can be 'careless' without having a medical problem? However, I don't disagree with what you say I'm just concerned that people appear to think a compulsory medical for over 70's would solve a problem.
Marylicious
12th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
I am 67 and will be 68 in January. I would not object to a re-test or similar when I reach 70. It makes sense. U shouldn't be arrogant and deny a re-test, as you might benefit in the long term.
Alicia
12th Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes they should be tested as many are very slow and have bad eyesight.
jeanmark
20th Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
So are a number of young people!
Matron999
12th Nov 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
Why not make every driver who kills retake their test? There have been many occasions when drivers in their late teens early twenties have driven fast cars and killed or maimed other drivers. It can't be one rule for them and another for the over 70's.
thefilthycripple
12th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
No most older drivers are very considerate ,even in some cases when they are a bit ponderous .What needs testing are young drivers ,who drive on your bumper ,overtake on your inside ,by younger drivers I mean under 40 ,these days many young women are dangerous drivers !
jeanmark
20th Nov 2015
1
Thanks for voting!
I think what you mean is gender is no longer an issue when considering dangerous driving!
SovereignInventory
12th Nov 2015
6
Thanks for voting!
With the standard of driving so poor and getting worse, I believe that all drivers should at least be assessed every 5 years. I consider myself to be a good, courteous driver but I have my bad habits.
tuds
12th Nov 2015
2
Thanks for voting!
I am 72 still working and drive about 300+ miles a week, I consider that I am a safe driver and would willingly take a test every three years. As people age differently a test would be essential to establish if their driving is still safe. Unfortunately I cannot see where the money for retesting would come from so this will probably never happen.
Cymraes44
12th Nov 2015
0
Thanks for voting!
There's nothing wrong with my health or eyesight. I think that 80 would be better
jeanlwebber
12th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes they should be test every three years as their health and eyesight deteriorates.
Munsterlander
11th Nov 2015
3
Thanks for voting!
My mother is 85 and luckily still very healthy but I do think that people over 70 should have a test every 3 years. I know an old aunt who used to drive in her late 80s and she really should not have been on the road. She was a danger to herself and others.

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