A road safety charity has called for practical solutions to help older people carry on driving, pointing out that driving into old age is good for staying independent and active.
Arguing that it’s time to stop ‘demonising’ older drivers, IAM RoadSmart highlighted a Swansea University study which found that drivers over 70 are four times less likely to be involved in a road traffic incident than those aged 17 to 24.
With figures showing that there are now 2.5 million licence holders over the age of 75 driving on UK roads, the charity said there is a need for “clear and practical actions” to help older people stay safe behind the wheel for as long as possible.
“Compulsory medicals and driving retests are an unnecessary action to take against a group who present no greater risk to themselves and others than other drivers,” said Neil Greig, drector of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart.
Today’s 70-year-old is healthier and fitter than ever before. And there are now hundreds of thousands more of them.
“So, as the population ages, we want to see the driving licence renewal age raised to 75, accompanied by an eye test to ensure the individual remains capable of identifying and reacting to any potential hazards. GPs should also be able to prescribe a driving assessment where they think it appropriate and these, in time, could become compulsory for drivers over 85.”
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