posted 4 years ago

New Campaign launched for ‘retest for the elderly’

In March a report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts) recommended that elderly drivers caught speeding or breaking other traffic laws should be sent on special training courses to make sure they are still safe behind the whe

In March a report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts) recommended that elderly drivers caught speeding or breaking other traffic laws should be sent on special training courses to make sure they are still safe behind the wheel. The report called for a national strategy to be implemented to ensure elderly drivers were not a danger to themselves or others, and also raised the idea of mandatory retesting to make sure that their age and health is not impairing their ability to control a car.

The issue has been highlighted again due to an inquest held into the death of a teenager killed after being hit by an 89 year old motorist suffering from dementia who was on the wrong side of a dual carriageway.

Charlotte Pitwell, 19, was the only passenger in the blue Citroen Saxo driven by a friend on the A404 Marlow Bypass, Bucks, when it was struck by Stanley Tomlinson. Mr Tomlinson was later found to be suffering from dementia, and Miss Pitwell's family said they would be lobbying the Government for a change in the law to make certain in future elderly motorists are tested to ensure they are still fit to drive. The coroner, Richard Hulett, supported the family in their quest for the issue to be looked at, and said that politicians should turn their attentions to the issue. Mr Pitwell said he had a simple message to David Cameron, which was "Change the law."

The Pitwell's call echoes a campaign started last year by Jackie McCord. Cassie her 16-year-old daughter was killed by a pensioner whom police had warned a few days earlier not to get behind the wheel. Mrs McCord is campaigning for a change in the law to allow police to immediately withhold a driver's licence if they believe they are unfit to be on the road. Miss McCord, an A-level student, was walking along a pavement in her home town of Colchester, Essex, in February last year when 87-year-old Colin Horsfall mounted the kerb and hit her. It later emerged that Mr Horsfall, who died three months after the crash, had failed a roadside eye test after crashing into trees three days previously, but police were powerless to ban him from the roads immediately.