A review by the Department for Transport has called for elderly drivers to be allowed to continue driving until they are 80 before having to renew their licences, making the DVLA, who are struggling under the weight of renewal applications, more efficient.
Safety campaigners, however, warn that the move could cost lives and insist that regulations for older drivers should be strengthened, not relaxed.
Under current law, drivers must send their licence to be renewed when they reach 70, declaring if they have any medical conditions which could affect their driving, and confirming they can still read a number plate at 65ft. After 70, they must reapply every three years to keep driving. However, with the population living longer while still being fit to drive, the DVLA is finding it hard to cope with the amount of renewal applications.
The Department for Transport argues that raising the renewal age could relieve pressure on the DVLA ‘with little or no impact on road safety’. Safety organisations argue otherwise, with calls even being made for all drivers to be regularly assessed.