Should elderly motorists retake their driving test

Driving licence: DVLA instructs motorists on how to apply online

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Motorists should retake their driving test after they turn 60, according to a recent survey. One in three drivers believe over-60s should have to retake their driving test, a Compare The Market survey found earlier this year. But do you agree? Vote in our poll.

There is no upper age limit for driving but at the age of 70 motorists are required to renew their licence every three years instead of 10.

This helps to keep medical records up to date and confirms drivers have sufficient eyesight – that they can read a car number plate from 20 metres away, for example.

Earlier this year a spokesperson from road safety charity Brake said: “For older drivers, licence renewal at 70 prompts them to check and self-certify they are fit to drive but this process can be improved.

“The Government needs to look at how fitness to drive regulation can be more rigorously enforced, such as compulsory eyesight testing throughout a driver’s career, rather than simply expecting drivers to self-certify that they are fit to drive.”

The family of a man who was killed after being knocked off his bike by an 82-year-old motorist are also calling for elderly drivers to check their eyesight.

The daughter of Jim Tassell, Emma Damen, said: “It’s very hard not to feel anything but anger because he chose to do that. He knew his eyesight was poor and he, just through his own selfishness, decided to get in the car and continue driving and he’s taken my dad’s life through his decision.”

She added: “My end goal is to get the law changed. I’ve spoken to my local MP as well because it’s outrageous that an individual can just tickbox and say ‘I’m fine to drive’.”

Earlier this year Martin Wright, owner of Wright Learn Driving Instruction in Norfolk, said that elderly drivers should have refresher courses rather than retaking their test.


He explained: “People vary in terms of their skills but it’s not necessarily based on their age.

“I think it would be unfair to penalise just the elderly or the young. It’s all down to the individual.

“People think instructors are just out there to teach 17-year-olds, but we are here to help anybody at any stage of their driving career.”

There are thought to be over four million motorists aged over 70 in the UK.

So what do YOU think? Should elderly motorists retake their driving test? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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