Fitness to drive amongst older people is purely a matter of self-regulation. Licences must be renewed at the age of 70 and every three years after that. Yet the onus is on the driver to self-certify as being fit to drive.
At the end of last year a judge told elderly drivers that they must ‘face up to facts’ if they are no longer safe on the roads after sentencing an 84-year-old woman who killed an 80-year-old man in a head-on smash. The judge also urged families and friends to ‘monitor’ ageing relatives as he imposed a five-year driving ban on the 84-year-old and a 24-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months.
Despite worsening eyesight, poorer reaction times and, all the other changed which come with getting older, its down to the individual to stop driving. In addition, it is accepted that a patient wouldn’t want an 85-year-old surgeon, so why should an 85-year-old be allowed to drive?
Motoring lawyers have called for a review of the current system. They have argued that bearing in mind the density of the traffic these days, that some better system is put in place to check a person’s ability to drive which might be by way of a medical or by a driving test.