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News & Features

Older Driver Re-testing Gains Support

Posted in General News on Monday, February 4th, 2019

The majority of motorists would support a change in the law which would see all drivers over the age of 70 having to re-take their driving test to prove that they are still safe to drive. Public support for this change in the law has increased since the Duke of Edinburgh crashed his Land Rover near Sandringham in mid-January. According to a recent survey of 400 motorists conducted by the car buying website, support for this change has risen from 53% to 66%.’s Managing Director, Austin Collins commented: “We began gauging public opinion on this issue before the Duke of Edinburgh’s accident, which means we saw ‘in real time’ how the controversy affected public opinion on the question. Our findings suggest that policy makers could come under pressure now, from public opinion, to revisit the idea of routinely re-testing drivers. And that could mean the Duke of Edinburgh’s accident ultimately leading to an improvement in road safety.”

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Tina Baxter's Gravatar
Tina Baxter

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I think drivers should have to prove their eyesight is good after say 70 years old. My dad just had to sign a form to say his eyesight was ok! He wouldn't have an eye test and signed the form himself, it should be done by a qualified optician. I would have a re-test to make sure I was safe on the road. I also have regular eye tests. I would hate to think I may cause an accident that harmed someone else.

David 's Gravatar

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I do think that some elderly drivers can be a lot better than a younger driver having said that i think having an eye test which i do every two years and i have always supported that and im 61. Also being disabled i had to have a driving assessment that was paid by motability to drive a automatic car with adaptions which took over 3 hours of driving and i passed as a good driver was very tiring for me but worth it. As to having a test after 70 theres for and against views is it affordable i think really i have been driving since 1976 and also a few years ago took the computer test and passed which i think was good. I think there could be younger drivers that would fail a driving test if retested and the same with older drivers but older drivers have the experience if they have all there faculties still and i think that a full medical with eye test thats compulsory would be better as its eyesight and ability thats the most important.

W Ankers 's Gravatar
W Ankers

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

Get lost with this stupid money making con most accidents are caused by younger drivers.

Theodorus Pieterse's Gravatar
Theodorus Pieterse

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I disagree, the Duke is much older than 70 and his age was not the reason but the sun in his eyes. This is discrimination and I find it very disrespectful that the media exploited his issue. I do agree that the police should have the right to request a re-test from anybody who drives eratically or in an unsafe manner, like in many other countries. Picking on the already suffering elderly and creating revenue for the blood sucking government, which they spend on 3rd world countries, instead of looking after their own people, shows the degrading of public values.

Gloria Moore's Gravatar
Gloria Moore

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

As a retired driving instructor, I have often said that a driving test (based on the advanced test), should be taken every 10/15yrs, that should encourage drivers to take a good look at the way they drive. If they can’t pass the test the licence should be suspended until a pass is gained.

Steven Couldwell's Gravatar
Steven Couldwell

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I agree in principle with this, but it would appear to miss one point that affects many more - Eye Tests. Currently the 'Honest John' approach to eye sight is just NOT working. There are thousands of people under 70 who cannot see or should be wearing their glasses/lenses. I know several people who regularly drive in this situation and they are not worried!

Anna-mary overing's Gravatar
Anna-mary overing

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I think 80 is a much better age to retest. Eyesight and quick reactions are the main thing. People are working much later in life nowadays, and many are still very capable amd independent. Testing is something older people find difficult. Rather an eye test and some way of checking the speed of their reactions that doesnt involve an actual repeat of a driving test is the way to go in my opinion.

Ray's Gravatar

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

Has this country gone crazy. The goverment is asking us to work later in life and a lot do,but now they along with members of the public are saying we may be unfit to drive to our place of work. It's a joke. Did the surveys note the age of the people that voted for over 70s to be tested,im guessing they are a lot younger than this. In my driving life of almost 50yrs now I have seen accidents caused by both young and old, I spent my life in the motor trade and a lot of this time was recovery work both breakdowns and accident. I can honestly say that no age group stood out in this time. I truly think roads should be made as safe as possible but if they are going to go down this route of retesting it should be for all ages. I would even go further an suggest new drivers should be retested within a matter of 3 yrs of their first test to eliminate any bad habits they have got into since test,just watch the police programs on TV for evidence to support my thoughts . Regards Ray

Raymond Byatt's Gravatar
Raymond Byatt

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

Insurance companies offer over sixties cover cheaper than under sixties .....i wonder why

john PUGH's Gravatar
john PUGH

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

disagree entirely I think it is everyone's duty to ensure they are competent to be driving on the road.not based on samples which take a small % of people driving to come to this conclusion. for many elderly people it is their independence and should not be removed without a great deal of thought and consideration.

Ronald Beardsley's Gravatar
Ronald Beardsley

Monday, February, 4th, 2019 81 years old and would welcome a retest for 70 year old drivers, I have stopped driving voluntary although I am fit to drive. I would go a stage further and stop anyone driving at all at the age of 70. There are so many health risks, what would happen if they had a heart attack or an embolism on the motorway, its not just the motorists that are at risk it is the General public.

Mike Allen's Gravatar
Mike Allen

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I am 67 and have no problem being re-tested but do not expect me to pay for it.

Pauline Hayes's Gravatar
Pauline Hayes

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

I have to admit that some elderly drivers should not be behind the wheel of a car; but why should we all have to suffer for those irresponsible people who just won't give up; in such cases it's up to their friends and family to insist they are no longer capable of handling a vehicle safely. I have been driving for many years and a range of vehicles from a mini to a semi and I still feel at ease behind the wheel of a vehicle and confident that my senses are intact to react should the need arise. I do feel that should the time come to 'hang up' my steering wheel I will be able to do this with dignity and satisfaction of having a good driving life without someone pointing the finger at me because of my age - THAT IS BEING BIAS AND DISCRIMINATING - I think before we seniors get picked on for a 're-test' I believe the drivers from the continent and further east should be tested UNDER OUR LAWS AND REQUIREMENTS - since their arrival there has been far more accident involving their dangerous ways than any English senior.. Those who are pointing the finger at us seniors need to look at the younger drivers - how dangerous they are - so before agreeing us seniors should be re-tested take a good look around you first!!!

J Brack's Gravatar
J Brack

Monday, February, 4th, 2019

As an over 70's driver I agree an optician should sign an eyesight verification form. However it should be noted that young people have the highest percentage of accidents, not over 70's.

Bill Muirhead's Gravatar
Bill Muirhead

Wednesday, February, 13th, 2019

I think it would be wrong expensive and fruitless for drivers over seventy to retake a driving test I think it would be better if drivers over seventy had to take a competent test is full re-test would be no good I am sure an examiner could tell in the first mile if an older driver was compitent enough to drive........... What would be expected of a seventy year old to take a re-test every year.............. rubbish...........

Lenny Green's Gravatar
Lenny Green

Tuesday, February, 5th, 2019

I agree with all the comments about an eye test being essential, not just an "honest John" approach. Older people get free eye tests so it would be at no ectra cost. My view on restests is slightly different. It should be compulsory for people from 70 to have a lesson with an acreddited driving instructor every, say, 5 years. This should include dashcam footage and be followed by a conversation about the driver/instructors view of the safety of the driver. This would avoid the arguements that often happen amongst family members about a drivers safety. The driver should also be clear that the instructor contact the DVLA if they feel a driver in unsafe. Finally, I agree young/new drivers are more likely to have an accident, so maybe the above should have to be completed after your first 3 years of driving. Just my ideas!

M.zulfiqar's Gravatar

Sunday, February, 10th, 2019

I am in favour of re testing over 70 years old drivers.

Alan Relph's Gravatar
Alan Relph

Sunday, February, 10th, 2019

I think the driving schools need to teach drivers to have some courtesy and politeness as there is a serious lacking in this area. I have a friend who recently had driving lessons and was told by the instructor to drive at maximum speed limits and even above as long as there are no police in sight. God help us all if they all encourage that way of driving. My experience is that no one is taught about thinking distances,braking distance and stopping distance anymore and no overtaking on continuous white lines. I think eye tests are necessary,certainly,but anarchy on the roads tests would be more appropriate,for ALL age groups please.

Helen Moore's Gravatar
Helen Moore

Friday, February, 8th, 2019

I totally agree with retesting older drivers but I think where, when and how would have to be thoroughly discussed and trialed. I was seventy in October and had to return my licence in August with a form telling them of my conditions and giving the names of my doctor and consultants. After several months in which I had a DVLA medical and eyesight test I received a letter saying that I may need some adaptations to my car to be able to continue driving.I already drove an automatic Toyota Yaris with light steering, fitted with a camera for reversing and two steering wheel covers for better grip. The only thing I thought I could get advice about was my handbrake.They suggested getting advice from my doctor or Driving Mobility. As getting a doctors appointment is so difficult these days I phoned DM and paid just over £100 pounds to go for an assessment at Poynters Road, Dunstable in January. The driving instructor and the OT I met were charming and put me at ease and I passed the spacial awareness and conitive tests. They decided the car they had brought for me to drive was unsuitable as I couldn't see over the steering wheel and the steering was much too heavy. An appointment was then made for me to go for the assessment to Welwyn Garden City the following Monday. Once again the driving instructor and OT were great and they had a Corsa for me to drive with City steering, an adaptation on the gear stick (which I wouldn't have needed in my own car),a push button hand brake and an adaptation for people who used hand controls instead of feet, which got in my way when using the indicator. I drove around a quiet car park to get used to the car and then we set off on the road. I found driving a strange car on unfamiliar roads with two strangers watching my every move and writing on clipboards overwhelming and made a mess of the whole thing and failed. My husband and family could not believe it when they read the report which arrived yesterday as I often drive when we go out and regularly take my grandchildren to their various activities after school. I have driven safely for almost fifty years, have never been in an RTA or had penalty points on my licence. I feel if I could have driven my own car or one like the Corsa, with only adaptations which were to help m,e on roads around Poynters Road where I have driven for thirty years I would have had a more favourable outcome. It feels as though it was not a fair test and that I was set up to fail.

Karen's Gravatar

Wednesday, February, 6th, 2019

I feel strongly that eye sight should be tested by opticians and a certificate submitted with applications for permission to continue to drive