Elderly motorists should be banned from driving, claim almost half of Brits

Almost half of the British public think that the elderly should be banned from driving.

The surprising data was sourced from a survey which also found that 70% of Brits think older drivers should have to retake their driving test.

The survey, by CarTakeBack.com and YouGov, found the most common reason behind wanting older drivers to resit their tests was “older drivers don’t have fast enough reaction times".

Many respondents said that compulsory tests should take place between 71 and 75, reports the Express.

But, some in favour of a complete ban over a certain age voted for this to come into play between age 86 to 90 (10%).

And, 14% voted that people over 90 should be banned outright.

Younger adults, between the ages of 18 and 24, believed the compulsory retest should happen at a younger age.

Around 37% of younger people thought this should be between ages 60 and 70 compared to just 13% of those aged 55+ who said the same.

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.”

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, said: ”In reality, new drivers are the most at risk group and older drivers are among the safest.

“Statistics do however show that drivers over 85 do start to have more crashes as their faculties fade and their experience is no longer enough to compensate.

“Older drivers really value their independence and it may be that a tougher testing regime is an acceptable trade off to allow them to keep driving.”

One in three drivers also think people should resit their tests at age 60 and half of drivers thought the same for when you turn 70.

Those in Northern Ireland agree the most that drivers should retest when they hit 60, with 35% supporting the move.

Around 31% in Scotland thought the same, while just 28% of drivers in Wales agreed.

But, a third of drivers also said they wouldn’t be able to pass their theory test currently and one in six believed they’d fail their practical driving test.

A spokesperson for comparethemarket.com, said: “Age and experience were found to play a significant role in driving confidence.

“When asked how many years of driving experience respondents had when they felt the most confident, the research revealed confidence peaks between one and six years of driving experience and then significantly reduces around seven years."

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Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Allowing older drivers to remain mobile is critical to their mental and physical wellbeing, but so is safety.

"A system which helps people address their shortcomings rather than simply penalises them could help maintain this balance. Most older drivers are very safe and self-regulate their driving, avoiding travelling at night or during rush hour, for example.

“But any encouragement we can all be given to reassess our ability to drive safely should be welcomed, not just after an incident but throughout our driving lives.”

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