It seems that never a day goes by where you won’t find a press article somewhere that seeks to criticise or politicize the older driver situation.
On the one hand the articles draw our attention to the growing problem with older drivers being involved in collisions and on the other articles talk of reluctance in Govt to insist on re testing drivers over 70, as it could be political suicide.
In an article found today on the Daily Mirror website, the pressure in terms of re testing over 70s seems to be building after an 85 year old driver mounted the pavement killing Ben Brookes-Dutton’s wife.
In the article it stated that there is a petition going round containing 170,000 signatures of people in favour of retesting drivers aged 70 years and that the number of signatories is growing.
At the court case against the 85 year-old driver that killed Mr. Ben Brookes-Dutton’s Wife, the defense Barrister admitted to the court that in the UK there is no system that properly assesses people’s ability to drive. The Barrister also said that at the 85 year olds Driving License renewal his Doctor didn’t suggest he shouldn’t drive.
Whilst the death of Mr. Brookes- Dutton’s wife is a terrible tragedy indeed, it’s perhaps too easy to point the finger at a group called the over 70s and attribute blame for all of the woes on the road.
Re testing at any age is an emotive subject and I am guessing that most that have signed the petition are nowhere near that age. They will be one day and we wonder how they would feel to be on the receiving end of this petition?
One has to question how 30 to 40 year old drivers would feel about being retested after say two own fault accidents involving third parties, or having picked up 6 penalty points for high risk behavior such as doing 50 MPH in a 30 MPH limit.
This is an issue that needs a lot of thought and not a knee jerk reaction.
Remember the Dangerous Dogs Act; where did that get us?
What is more important is that all drivers are self aware and recognize when their driving is not once what it was.
Convictions, accidents, maybe attracting a little too much attention from other motorists are all indictors that perhaps some training is needed.
At Kings Hill Fleet Training we specialize in Full License Holders and hold RoSPA Qualifications focused on Safe Driving.