Older drivers should retake their driving test, say MPs

Two thirds of MPs want to make older drivers retake their driving test when they reach a certain age, reports Yahoo News UK.

According to a YouGov poll of MPs in the UK, 63% believe there should be a compulsory retest for drivers once they reach a certain age.

Among the MPs who voted in favour of this, 75 was considered the most popular age for these retests.

As it stands, drivers in the UK are required to renew their driving licence when they turn 70, but do not have to take another test. Motorists are required to notify the DVLA if they have any health conditions that could affect their driving and confirm that their eyesight is good enough to be behind the wheel.

Older drivers are at a higher risk of dying if involved in a road accident. The Government's 2015 Older Driver Taskforce report found that drivers aged 80 years or over are ten times more likely to be killed while driving compared to 40-49 year olds.

After his wife was killed by an older driver, Ben Brooks-Dutton launched a campaign to make retesting compulsory for drivers over 70. However, despite his petition getting more than a quarter of a million signatures, it failed to be made into legislation.

Rebecca Ashton, head of policy and research at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, believes that ongoing driver training, rather than forcing older drivers to resit the driving test, is the answer.

As Ashton explained: "I don't see why when we pass our test at 17, that should be it as far as our advancement in driving goes. The test says that we are safe to be on the road but it doesn't say that we are at a particularly good or high standard."

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