posted 7 years ago

Should there be an age limit to drive?

According to records held by the DVLA there are three drivers aged 100 years old who remain driving on the roads despite having committed a motoring offence in their late nineties.

According to records held by the DVLA there are three drivers aged 100 years old who remain driving on the roads despite having committed a motoring offence in their late nineties. As the driving test was introduced in 1935 it does seem that these centurion motorists probably never took a test.

Motorists have to renew their licence at 70 and again every three years after that. They are not subject to a medical examination although their doctor is obliged to inform the DVLA if they believe a patient should give up driving.

The DVLA examined its records in December in response to a freedom of information request and discovered that there are 2,593 drivers aged 90 and above with penalty points on their licence. It is unclear what these drivers did to earn penalty points or how many each of them hold, the fact that they are still motoring questions whether there should be an age limit. The Institute of Advanced Motorists called for a new class of licence which would see frail elderly motorists banned from motorways and the fastest dual carriageways, while still allowing them to drive elsewhere. There have also been calls from motoring groups for road signs to have bigger lettering to cope with Britain’s ageing motoring population, even though statistics show that drivers born before the war are among the safest on the road.

Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said “older drivers are not necessarily less safe drivers, their frailty makes them more at risk; their driving does not make them a risk to others. That said, I think it is really important to consider some kind of driving assessment for older drivers involved in crashes or incidents resulting in penalty points.”


My sister's car, a Ford Escort, was once hit by an octogenarian whilst parked outside her house. A neighbour saw the driver back up and drive away to the rsilway station 400yards away. My sister went up the road to speak to the driver. When told he had hit her car his reply was "Car? I thought it was a bus!" But not all elderly people are bad drivers, my Dad is 79 and has been driving for 62 years and is an excellent driver. It is not a question of age but ability. There has to be some testing method that determines a drivers driving capacity. Restricted licences are a great idea, but would they be enforceable. On the other side of the coin, no-one should be given a under 21. I remember being absolutely gob-smacked when I went to New Zealand in the 90's and found out they could start driving at age 14. As well as ability, maturity should also have to be demonstrated.

Irrespective of age every licenced driver should undergo retesting in driving ability every 7 to 10 years.

Drivers should not lose their liscense on account of age. They should lose it on account of ability. I am 80 and live in a very rural part of N Wales, our nearest A&E hospital is 45 miles away with no suitable bus or train service. A car is essential (my wife is disabled)and having passed the IAM driving test some years ago together with many years of accident free driving experience within the UK,Europe,Asia & America feel, with care, still able to drive safely. I regularly drive to the south of France using Uk & French motorways. I would willingly take an IAM assessment test or any such test on a regular basis and when my ability fails would willingly stop driving.

Let's hope people like Laura Gibson never get a chance to make laws (comment 13/02/2012 18:35). Her time might be better spent learning how to write and spell correctly Oh and Laura if you had been watching the road correctly you would have seen the other car starting to back out and taken action to avoid a collision - it could easily have been a child running out so maybe we ought to take your licence away for incompetence!

Many older people are still very able safe drivers, I think therefore a license should not be for 'life' and instead should be reissued subject to physically passing a road-safety driving test every two/three years from age 75 upwards. I do not think older people should have to sit/pass the full test as if they were getting a license for the first time ... only to very simply have a driving examiner sit in the car with them for 1/2 an hour every two or so years just to make sure the driver is still a safe and able driver. The result should then be transmited to the dvla so they may update their records accordingly and if necessary issue a 'stop'to any particular driver. A doctor's note is not adequate, firstly because the doctor will not witness a driver 'driving' and also because it could create loop holes.

Leave us pensioners alone. If we are so bad, why do insurance companies offer us such large discounts on car insurance

leave the pensiners alone.if you are olden,it pays to get a car-especially for those emergencies,and for rural people who need a car,especially as some villages are 8.5 miles from a b-road and don't exactly have city type regular public transport(buses),nor a train station/service.

Lower age limit 21. Upper age limit say 80. As noted in a previous comment, we don't want any grey areas.

Legal Limit on age should be 21. Compulsory suspension of Licence should be 75. Hard and fast rules, no grey areas. easy.

I am 79 years old and try to keep my driving skills by taking the ROSPA Advanced Drivung Test, which has to be renewed every three years. I think that the driving skilss of older drivers are better than many young people and would like to know what the percentage of accidents is for people between the ages o 20 and twent five, and how this compares with the percantage of accidents for people over 65

Should there be a legal age to drive? - Yes. 21. Just like it used to be in the UK.

I'd be interested to see a report on how many thousands of under 30's have committed road offences. They are the only ones Iwh read about in the daily papers.

Surely it would be the case of where anyone notches up a certain amount of points they should be re-evaluated for a licence and not just those over a certain age. There are many drivers who exceed this amount and are under the magic 70 years old banner. Also many do not even have a driving licence or for that matter insurance and are allowed to drive due to too little policing of these illegle drivers.

How many drivers over 90 have points? Really, this is a very small number compared to the rest of the population. As usual, a "soft target" minority are picked on when there are much bigger problems to deal with as Nigel Bax (below) identifies. 70 is no longer "old".

i am 63 yrs old, still ride a 1.6ltr motorcycle,drive a large MPV,yes there are times when i think older drivers i have met on the roads, perhaps need to consider not driving, probably happens 2 or three times a year,but not the drivers between 20 and 50 who i see nearly causing accidents,or driving like nutcases 20 times a day,there are also over 750,000 drivers on the road driving with no, MOT,Insurance,driving licence,lets sort them first before the odd older person over a hundred,whos been lucky enough to make it

Like many over 70's I have type 2 diabetes and use a stick due to arthritis and I think that the older generations should be allowed to continue driving but should have to pass a medical, eye test and simplified two part road driving test to test the suitability to drive on fast trunk roads and Motorways. If you pass then fine for both sections then fune but uf you fail the Motorway/Trunk Road Test then I am afraid they should be banned and a sticker or badge be placed on the rear of your car!

I am 73 and am also diabetic. This was declared to the DVLA when I was first diagnosed, because of this my driving licebce has had to be renewed every 3 years since then, principally to ensure that me eyesight is up to scratch. We are all aware that withage your reaction are not quite as sharp, and if we have any sense we make allowances for our age when we drive. It's the fools that think that at 70 their eyes and reactions are as sharp as when they were 30, that cause the accidents. When I look at the driving standards of some who are much younger than me it is oh so obvious why accident occur. the total lack of direction indication, and dis-respect shown to other road users is frightening to say the least. Before we worry about elderly road users I suggest we address the problem of the young thugs who think that after they have passed their test they do not have to bother about road safty, and that they can do and go, wherever they please on the road.

I agree that once you reach the age of 70 you should resit a driving test and every 3/5yrs thereafter. We should't make signs bigger for ease as part of the Practical test is reading a plate at distance! It's not only the elder population of drivers who are dangerous some younger drivers needs to learn also how dangerous they can be behind the wheel.

I am 73, walk only only with the aid of sticks due to arthritis and suffered a mild heart attack in 2010, both of which were reported to DVLA. On the other hand I can read a number plate without glasses and a test showed hand to eye co-ordination of someone half my age soI feel it depends on the individual.

I do not believe that older drivers cause more accidents, I believe the younger drivers are more dangerous behind the wheel. Older drivers tend to drive safer and slower as they are more cautious. Anyone behind the wheel can be dangerous. It would be interesting to see how many people under the age of 75 have penalty points and driving convictions and how many have driving licences and compare the percentage

As I am just 73 I suppose I am a bit young for this discussion. When the 3 yearly renewal for drivers over 70 was introduced there was going to be re-test at each renewal. This was never brought in so I can see no point in continuing this expensive and pointless exercise.

I would argue that the requirement to renew a driving licence every 3 years after 70 is actually illegal and discriminatory (and pretty pointless for that matter as its self certified!). It's already a legal requirement to report a health problem that would prevent safe driving and that's all that is required. Maybe doctors should be able to check whether a patient has a driving licence at the DLVA and if so inform them of any health change that would make driving dangerous. The idea of a reduced licence might be an option for those who have a less than optimal health record - no motor way driving etc.

My mother was knocked down by an 89 year old motorist in a pedestrian only zone. She broke both her legs and fractured her spine. So yes, I think drivers over 80 should be subject to compulsory five year competence tests.

If older drivers are so accident prone how come I can insure a 3ltr jaguar at the age of 70 for less money than a 18 year old can insure a 1 ltr fiesta if they can find a company that will insure them?????

Retest due to age or accident. Thats a difficult one, we all age differntly. Anyone involved in a serious RTA should have a retest. No need for bigger signs, we wear glasses (any age). Dependant on the fee for a retest, then maybe every ten years would ensure all are fit. And anyone seeking a UK license should have to sit a test. This would sort out some of these dubious drivers. I'm 65 and still doing track days !

What concerns me is Eastern Europeans exchanging their driving licences which are often bought instead of earned) for full British Licences with no test, not even of English language. That is really crazy! We all get old so be tolerant of our own ciizens, but make foreigners sit a test.

So there are drivers over 90 with penalty points. Shock horror. Since the inception of those money grabing speed cameras I imagine that there are more people of all ages with points than thre are without.

I believe that everyone driving on the roads should be subject to an eye test carried out by an optician, and a re test every 10 years. This would not be discriminatory, it would be sensible. I would also press for a full medical for any driver over 70. If we were more stringent with the way we approach our driving and accept that the majority of drivers fall into unsafe habits, the roads would become a safer place for all. Generally people are against compulsory re testing because they fear that their driving has fallen below an acceptable standard and are not honest enough to accept the fact. If you think about it sensibly, and ask yourself "do I feel safe with my driving, do I feel safe with everybody else's driving" if you can honestly say yes, then there would be no case to answer. But as I suspect everyone of us have been in the wrong or cut up by another driver recently. OR are you one of those drivers who always blame the other road users? We need to look at the safety of all road users in a different way, the fact that we have always done it like this, does not make it right.

As Iv'e still to see a driver over 70 texting,talking on a mobile, Trying to run someone off the road due to road rage or just being totaly selfish behind the wheel of a car. Wouldn't it make the road safer to ban these driver then resit their test every 3 year's. Surely this would lead to safer roads!

If we follow the theory behind this story then all drivers over the age of 18 should be banned, I suppose this would please the greenies as well. Let's licence walking sticks!

I dont know what age Laura Gibson is but let me assure her that when she reaches 69 there is no way that she will agree that you should stop driving at 70. Growing old is an unavoidable common heritage and many eople need to be a little more tolerant or they might just find their own senior year unbearable.

I think an age limit would be age discrimination. Perhaps a mandatory re-test for all drivers with points and an optional one after a certain age for drivers without points?

An age limit to drive? Piffle, there would next be an age limit on drinking beer, making love, and speaking your mind.

Laura Gibson is some sort of loony, if she`s liucky she may reach 70, see how she will feel then. Elderly drivers are far more careful than the youngsters who just seem to floor the pedal, anywere.

If we are going to ban entire age groups from driving surely it should be those age groups that have the most accidents.

I think that after a certain age your licence should be taken off you, I have an Elderly neighbour whose car has 100's of dents and bashes, the bumper is gaffer taped up and I never thought about it till he reversed into my car in th car park when I was on main toad moving, it could have been a child, and it could have been disastrous! I think they get to a stage where they cannot judge the same and their reaction time is slower, I think you should stop driving at 70!

Agree retests for every driver every 5 years make roads safer

Everyone that holds a licence for ten years should all be made to take theory tests again as government could make more money this way

I believe that despite of age there is a point system in situ for a reason so poor drivers whatever age will get disqualified if drive poor! I feel as teenagers are being forced to stay in education until they are 18 like in USA then driving should be in there ciriculam as in the USA as how can they fund lessons if forced to be in school! This will only create more youngsters to risk driving without a liscence!!

Why this obsession with a handful of old drivers? We should worry about those thousands of younger drivers with either no road sense or with no licence or insurance. Age is not a determinant of road safety.