Elderly drivers: Calls for compulsory safety awareness courses to be introduced

Dr Hilary discusses the risks for older drivers

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One of the key recommendations from the Older Drivers Task Force report was that the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) should require evidence of a recent eyesight test. It is said the DVLA, insurers and others should encourage vision checks every two years, particularly from those who are over 60-years-old.

The report also suggested that the mandatory age of self-declaration should be raised to 75, rather than the current age of 70.

These suggestions were made to develop the “framework, advice, self-help and technology available to support the fast growing number of older drivers”.

Dr Suzy Charman, executive director of the Road Safety Foundation, praised the report, saying she hoped the proposals would make driving safer for all.

She said: “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.

“Key recommendations such as introducing mandatory eye tests at licence renewal at age 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.”

Despite the report’s safety suggestions, many elderly drivers were concerned about the impact it would have, with some even calling it “discriminatory”.

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One Express.co.uk reader, using the handle AndrewBrown1964, said: “Age discrimination at it’s very best. There should be mandatory tests for all ages every five years”.

Another reader has spoken of their belief that mandatory eyesight tests should be introduced in a bid to improve road safety.

They said: “I feel that the age should be a lot lower.

“I feel that this must be compulsory at the age of 50 and every 10 years from then also a compulsory driver safety awareness course.

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