Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAPs to the test
Elderly drivers may soon be hit with major changes to driving licence renewals with the Government considering taking action.
The DVLA has launched a consultation asking for evidence on driver licensing for road users with medical conditions.
The briefing does not outline any specific proposals that could be introduced to change the system for now.
However, responses are still likely to help formulate proposals to help support future rule updates.
Richard Holden, Minister for Roads and Local Transport said the consultation was being held as the “time is right” to review existing rules.
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He explained: “A range of medical conditions, disabilities and treatments can affect an individual’s ability to safely control a vehicle.
“As the volume and complexity of driving licence applications or renewals where the applicant has one or more medical condition increases, the Government believes that the time is right to review the existing legal framework.
“However, we recognise that there are many people and organisations with a wide range of expertise that might have views or ideas that they wish to share and that is why we are launching this call for evidence. We want to understand any opportunities for change in this area and we need your help with that.”
The call for evidence began on July 31 and will run for almost three months, expiring on October 22.
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Evidence can be submitted online through the DVLA SNAP Survey tool or posted to their head office in Swansea.
Currently, those over the age of 70 have to apply for a new licence every three years but there are no mandatory medical checks to confirm they are fit to drive.
Instead, it is up to the motorists themselves to declare to DVLA chiefs if they have any medical conditions that may affect their ability to drive.
Illnesses that need reporting include dementia, Parkinson’s disease and any neurological disease.
Failure to highlight a condition could see road users slapped with heavy fines and invalidate their car insurance.
By 2035, there are expected to be 21 million older drivers on the roads with around two million suffering from dementia by 2051.
Holden added: “The aim of this call for evidence is to tap into a wide range of experience, views, and research to help us to identify areas where policy or legislative changes may be able to improve outcomes for drivers and other road users.”
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