Should older Motorists have to re-take their driving test?
Driving isn’t just for young people in their obnoxious looking sports cars. Pensioners still like to use their motors in their retirement – they don’t always use the bus.
However, it turns out a lot of motorists think that by retirement age you should have to retake your test. This is to be sure that people are still safe to use the road in their older age.
A UK poll said older motorists should be examined at 72 and have to retake their test every 5 years. Failing to pass at this point would then potentially lead to losing your license.
It sounds harsh, but in some ways it’s understandable. As you get older, your reactions are nowhere near the same as they once were. While older drivers may be going annoyingly slow everywhere, they could pose a risk to other drives.
RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding didn’t agree with the poll’s statistics:
“The irony is that older drivers are some of the safest on the roads. The safety benefits of retesting at an arbitrary age such as 72 are minimal.
“Most older motorists recognize their limitations and tend to self regulate, avoiding driving at times and in places they feel uncomfortable, like at night, on motorways and in the rush hour.
“Stopping anyone over a certain age from driving might, very briefly, sound like a good idea but overestimates the danger older drivers pose and underestimates the damage caused to elderly people if their mobility is suddenly and probably needlessly removed.
“We can become unfit to drive at any age and the solution is to encourage all motorists to take health concerns to their GP rather than try to hide them.
“In many cases people can be kept safely on the road with the right treatment. The danger comes when serious conditions go unreported.”
Do You Agree?
Over 17,000 motorists lost their license in 2015 due to their medical condition. Gooding seems to imply that it should stay as the doctor’s decision, regardless of how old the motorist is.
Apparently, the risk of an older driver hitting a pedestrian is half as likely than a driver under the age of 25. However, an older driver involved in a crash is four times as likely to die or become seriously injured due to their frailty.
Do you agree with pensioners retaking their test? Or do you think that people are over-estimating the risks that they pose?