Road safety specialists have recommended raising the mandatory fitness to drive self-declaration for licence renewal from 70 to 75 years old – if proof of an eye-sight test is made compulsory.
The recommendations are made by the Older Drivers Task Force which today publishes Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age, a report setting out a national older driver strategy. The Task Force, welcomed by Government, was managed by the Road Safety Foundation and supported by Ageas, the third largest motor insurer in the UK and a leading insurer of older drivers.
More than 25 experts and organisations in transport, health, policing, licensing, car manufacturing and insurance collaborated to produce the report, led by Chairman John Plowman. Analysing the latest international evidence, available technology and road safety schemes, the Task Force makes seven key recommendations for government and other stakeholders.
The emphasis is for government and industry to work together to ensure older drivers can stay on the road and enjoy independent lives for as long as it is safe to do so.
- Raising the automatic requirement for drivers to notify the DVLA at age 70 of any medical condition affecting driving to 75 – if the requirement for an eye sight test is made compulsory
- Requiring the DVLA to get evidence of an eyesight test at licence renewal
- Asking a consumer body to prepare specific advice on modern car safety features that are of special significance for older drivers – and consider “silver” NCAP-style assessment
- Improving road design, signs and markings to meet the highest international standards specifically to aid older drivers but bringing benefits for all drivers
- Evaluating existing driving appraisal courses and improving information provided to older drivers, their families, and medical professionals
- Piloting new products which offer an alternative to driving for older people.
- Pooling insurer data and research into major claims involving older drivers to understand the detailed causes.
The Government has told the authors of the report it will consider their recommendations in drafting future legislation.