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Should over 70s have to retake their driving test?

Currently, there is no age restriction on when Brits should stop driving with the law only requiring drivers to renew their licences every three years from the age of 70.

Figures from the DVLA show there are 4.5 million over 70s still on the road with 239 licence holders aged 100 to 108.

Half of British drivers are calling for the over 70s to retake driving tests before they are allowed back behind the wheel. Research by website Confused.com also found a quarter of UK motorists want to see a maximum age limit imposed on all UK drivers with two in ten citing 71-75 as the cut off.

But elderly drivers have fought back and one in three insist they are better drivers today than when they were in their teens or twenties. And four in ten said they would be willing to take a new test to prove it.

More than half turned the tables on younger motorists saying they were more reckless than silver haired motorists and caused more accidents.

What are your views?  Should there be an upper maximum age limit imposed on drivers? Would you be willing to retake your driving test after the age of 70? Have you ever had to shop a much older friend or relative amid fears their doddery driving would cause an accident behind the wheel? Or is it the younger drivers that are more reckless on the roads?

Would you be prepared to retake your driving test after your 70th birthday?

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

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Roof Top Crow
27th May 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Starting in my teens my hobby has been motor sport. I know my reactions starting slowing in my early 40s.
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On the road I have always been careful as I need to protect my competition license. I still drive thousands of miles a year and in doing so I remain very aware of my driving skills.
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Just like everyone else in their 70s my driving skills are diminishing I am not as good a driver as I was in my 40s , 50s , and 60s.
bluesuede
13th May 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes, they should along with over 20's,30's,40's,50's....
The general standard of driving is appalling and the level of sheer pig ignorance and aggression combined with a piece of metal and glass is frightening.
As we get older our reactions are slower and whether we like to admit that the aggressive manner of driving today is not ideal for older drivers. Still perhaps if we had more or even some in some areas traffic police things might improve.
KeithE3
28th Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
A driving test doesn't test for common sense or abiding by the rules or bad lane discipline or turning left just after overtaking a cyclist, or giving them enough safe space on overtaking or very many other things too
Trampas1955
17th Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
No test. But ban them from motorways.
Tinkers
11th Apr 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Our reactions are definitely slower as we age and it should be mandatory for GPs to inform DVLA of problems that people encounter with their health which may affect their ability to drive
even if the patients themselves do not inform the authorities.
sparrer
2nd Apr 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I'll be 70 in a couple of years and have decided to to book a couple of lessons, not because I think my driving is bad but it would be interesting to have the opinion of a 'professional'. It will probably point out any bad habits I've slipped into over the years and give me time to correct them before a 70-test becomes compulsory.
Barbara58
1st Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
My dear late friend Sylvia volunteered to retake her driving test when she was 80 as she'd had a couple of prangs in the limited space of our Churchyard.
She was a terrible driver (sorry Sylv) yet she PASSED!
Enough said!
celtwitch
31st Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I think that when I get to 70 I will flog my old banger and buy a pony and trap, some roller skates and a hover board. No tax or insurance required, no petrol bills and I can annoy the heck out of motorists by pottering along the lanes at 10mph. The skates will be great for nipping to the local shop, the hover board for a bit of fun.
Trampas1955
17th Apr 2016
1
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Yeah but where are you going to keep it?
john338
28th Mar 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
I think we all should take a driving test every five years
celtwitch
31st Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Coccinelle
22nd Mar 2016
3
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I am well over 70. I have been driving since I was in my twenties. I have driven a lot and still do in England and in France. I have never had an accident. However I have never been a very confident or very keen driver. Last year I booked two sessions with an AA instructor so that he could assess my driving in towns and country roads. I passed his test!. I think people over 70 either should be asked to take another test or volunteer to take it and if successful be given something to display the fact on their car so that the young arrogant drivers don't assume that because we have grey/white hair we are bad drivers.
chrismk
21st Mar 2016
2
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I believe it would be useful to make it compulsory for eye tests and evidence to be submitted insurers annually. Also hearing tests for those already impaired, or sensible enough to know they are, and never been tested
This should apply to people driving electrically powered vehicles too!
If they have never driven (this applies to many), some time for education in the Highway Code and driving protocol would be useful
The public should not be allowed to walk into a shop and purchase a piece of equipment for which they have not been assessed both personally and vehicle-wise
Many people no longer allowed to drive a car go on to purchase an electrically powered vehicle
orchardlane
21st Mar 2016
3
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Wise words indeed but they have nothing to do with how old you are.
duckkers
24th Mar 2016
1
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If your response was to my comment, I believe it has everything to do with age - we need to be more self aware, it's easy as we get older to be set in our ways, unwilling to see that we may make mistakes that we perhaps wouldn't have made when younger, many of the folk I met on the Advanced Drivers course were retireds' who sought to enhance their driving skills, being aware of the advancing years and slower reactions, some of whom had had one too many speeding fines and had attended the speed awareness course, also a wonderful experience.
I also believe that young people should undergo advanced driving courses, but that would be unmanageable sadly.
duckkers
20th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
When I retired I did my Advanced Motorists training and passed my test first time - I'm very proud of the achievement and whilst I felt I was a pretty good driver before, the experience helped me to enhance my driving skills and become more aware of my own driving as well as other peoples'.
Self awareness is key in driving, anger management too, oh and the biggest fear I have is seeing, usually, elderly women behind the wheel of a car they can barely see over - bumper seats for shorter drivers please!!
I am insured through IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) and that has become cheaper, but the biggest advantage for me is self awareness.
I worry too about drivers who are clearly afraid behind the wheel, the car driving them rather than them in control and relaxed - driving should be fun and enjoyable.
Just a thought.
mikerobbie
20th Mar 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
At age 70 our reactions are slower and a mandatory driving test would be a good idea.mikeRobbie
celtwitch
31st Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
And turkeys think Christmas is 'a good idea.'
Lionel
20th Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Emphatically NO!

As the holder of a full driving licence for forty eight years, also an HGV Class 1 and four agricultural licences I feel at least qualified to comment the worst drivers on British roads are young women and young men. The former seem to know only how to go forward at speed and the latter want to display their range of road skills learned on computer games. To make matters worse I and my young friends were keen to hone our driving skills without endangering others.

Is that the general case today? No. We issue driving licences as easily as TV licences and the roads are the less safe for it.

As far another test at seventy years old, well, pass parameters are so abysmally low now it is unlikely someone with the range of licences I've held, and that without a single accident, would ever pass!

As with another commenter, I'm not willing to further fill the DoT coffers, or is it DVLA now? I don't know. Why not spend time and money enhancing the skills of new drivers, enforcing driving penalties?
Red Squirrel
20th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
The older I'm getting the harder it is driving as there is so much more traffic on the roads and you need to have your witts about you so knowing how I feel now when I reach 70 I think some form of test may not be a bad thing. My mother is in her 80's and is still driving although she doesn't like it but public transport isn't what it was so it is a necessity for getting around.
orchardlane
19th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I wouldn't trust the examiners who, as part of the body introducing the idea, are very likely to be ageist. The insurance companies are very aware of the risks associated with different sections of society and these are not solely associated with age.
If health is a factor then any assessments should be applied to anyone regardless of age.
As for triennial renewals; what a farce. All we have to do is fill in a form. What does this achieve?
In any case, as all experienced drivers know the driving test bears no resemblance to real life.
jeanmark
21st Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
seasidenannie
19th Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Unless people over 70 see their go on a regular basis, more than once a year, then they should resit their test. Those that have to see their go on a regular basis should be exempt from the rest as their doctor could tell them if they are no longer for to drive and if they thought that person would not give up after being told then the go should notify Swansea liecnceing centre so they could cancel the licence and notify the holder that it has been cancelled.
Pix
19th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Seems reasonable as our eye sight and reactions aren't as good as we get older, but I don't think there should be a charge for re-taking the driving test
chrismk
21st Mar 2016
2
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Why no charge? The examiner has to be paid and it's for your benefit
kattie75
19th Mar 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
Well here we go again I think that the older people should have an annual health check by independent doctors who specialise in the field of the elderly but what about all the uninsured people driving and the people who drink drive or use the mobile phone and smoke while they are driving and the boy racers all these people should have their licenses taken away they are all menaces
Wilf
19th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I think people over 70 should have tests and I also agree with you that people who are a danger on the roads like boy racers etc should be banned for far longer and then have to take another test. Say 5 years ban for dangerous driving. If they break it put them in jail
JCW100
19th Mar 2016
5
Thanks for voting!
No, but a medical, every other year, would seem a reasonable place to start, plus insurance companies seem to wecome those with a good record. But post 80, an anual medical might be something we could all live with !
iestynlad
18th Mar 2016
6
Thanks for voting!
Rather than swell the coffers of the Dept of Transport by a massive increase in the number of driving test fees rolling into their till, if demands for over 70s to retake the test and re-tests every so many years etc are taken seriously, why not just get tougher on drivers who drive recklessly e.g. the person who killed the carriage horse in South Wales by overtaking a funeral procession of 30 cars then swerving into the horse drawn carriage carrying the coffin, or the huge number of drink drivers who kill or maim people on the road, or those using mobile phones at the wheel, or that lorry driver who wiped out an entire family because he was on a laptop at the wheel of his etc etc etc
Is this about trying to achieve safer roads or just another attack on older people?
Lionel
20th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
It's yet another attack on older people.

The end result will be a lowering of road craft standards, booming accident rate, NHS bills soaring ... actually, just like the education system, work to the lowest common denominator.
barbara smith
18th Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes we should retake a driving test at 70 ,I would not be afraid to take one.
liverbirdpam
18th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I think driving tests should be every 5 years over the age of 75 as a baby boomer we are much more alert as 70 is suppose to be the new middle age but I do think people should not be driving over 90 I know several people driving and their reactions are so much slower
chrismk
21st Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Everyone has to make a free application for a driving licence renewal x 3 yearly from the age of 60 anyway
Additional annual eye and hearing examination would be an important
benefit to the driver, the public, insurers and the NHS
JanW
2nd Apr 2016
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi crismk. You only need to renew your driving licence over the age of 70, not 60. This, as you say, should be done every three years.
Brian Bolden
18th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I think that it should be compulsory for people over 70 to resit the driving test as our reflexes are possibly not so good.
sirdenn
18th Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
driving tests should have to be taken every 10 years by everyone. Perhaps starting with the over 80s and gradually reducing the starting age till it reduces down to thirty. Road signs and driving practises are often changed and people are just expected to know. I have seen many old people struggle to go in or get out of parking places. And I know of several who only give up driving after they have caused an accident.
iestynlad
18th Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree with Winky below. How's this for a load of rubbish. At 70 I will no longer be able to drive a 7.5tonne horsebox after 35 years of experience of this (could be longer for some other people!)
Surely more driving experience makes you a better driver.
jeanmark
21st Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
Understand the point you are trying to make but I'm not sure more driving experience makes you a better driver as some people become complacent believing experience makes them safe.
SuperTrooper29
18th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
No, we are much safer than younger drivers. A doctor should be able to declare If a driver is fit or not and it should also be an opticicians job to say if our eyesight is good enough too. Then we should be good to go. If we can be made to work longer then we should be able to drive longer too and keep our independence.
JohnHerb
18th Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I think all over 70s should have a test once every 2 years
winky
18th Mar 2016
4
Thanks for voting!
I utterly object to have to retake my driving test again, whilst I appreciate we are getting older I strongly believe we are a hell of a lot safer than the young ones of today! No I feel that all what is required is for us at that age to have a medical with our own G.P.s and should we be declared fit and well , well bob's your uncle and U.N.W. your aunt. Final shot we are all being told we live longer, we are fitter, and the new 70 is now 80 , so it isn't broke so don't fix it!
JohnHerb
25th Apr 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
The older you get the worse your eyesight and general reactions are. Thats just a fact
Wilf
19th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes but I do think as we get older our reflexs and eyesight become worse. I agree the young men are the most dangerous drivers. They should have speed inhibitors fitted to their cars or no insurance will be given-simples!
jeanmark
21st Mar 2016
0
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You can now add young women to that list, particularly when they are putting their make-up on whilst driving at speed.........
thefilthycripple
18th Mar 2016
5
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I would comply with the law but statistically older drivers are only a fifth of the risk as young drivers . A few loudmouths are shouting the odds after their relatives being hurt or worse .Since when did the loudest voice prevail
jeanmark
21st Mar 2016
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree. Stupidity appears to be a large factor when considering some driving practices and in my experience that isn't related to age......
JohnHerb
18th Mar 2016
2
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The loudest usually prevail!
DeborahWyld
18th Mar 2016
7
Thanks for voting!
I agree with Dora and Johnny. If you have a condition that a doctor thinks may impair driving they should be allowed to report it to DVLA. I would be happy to take a test but I believe there are worse drivers on the road than the over 70s and many who should have passed their test. There should also be a cut off for how many times you are allowed to take the original test!
Aliwali51
18th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
I've been driving now for 47 years but I'd be willing re-take my driving test anytime, not just when I reach the age of 70.
Wilf
19th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I am the same-if it keeps me and others safe so be it!
Mikey1951
18th Mar 2016
3
Thanks for voting!
Even though I took the time to take my advanced test I don't pretend to be a perfect driver, (the perfect driver has yet to be born). I also try to keep up to date by having a copy of the Highway Code in the glove box for reference. Personally I would be happy to be tested again, to keep up to date with current regulations and make sure I was fit to drive, who knows what bad habits I might have picked up.
wendyangela
18th Mar 2016
2
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I feel it would be a very safe option, not only for the over 70
Dora Millarvie
18th Mar 2016
4
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Don't think it should be confined to 70 plus but dependent on any illnesses that may have developed and could impair your ability to drive. This would be doctor initiated and therefore not subjective
Christine59
18th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
I don't see why we should have to take the test again. Are there any statistics that prove once you hit 70 you become a bad driver?
johnny
18th Mar 2016
8
Thanks for voting!
I am 79 and I always drive with in the law and been driving for 61 years, but I do think when applying for to renew your licences it should be with a doctors report that u are still fit enough to drive as a few do not put down the truth of there health
JohnHerb
18th Mar 2016
2
Thanks for voting!
Yes I totally agree with you

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