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Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

Infinity
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Registered: 19-06-2011

Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

There have been several incidents recently of Elderly Drivers being involved in events, where some people have been killed, or other vehicles involved, as reported in the local Press.

 

The ones that spring to mind are drivers aged over 85.

 

Running amok in Hospital Carparks, two nr Manchester, (two killed) one where an elderly driver ran down pedestrians on a crossing, and one even where the elderly driver ended up going the wrong way down a dual carriageway !!

So,  a total ban on all over 85's ?

Or at least withdrawal of license unless they can pass a fitness to drive test ?

 

(Or just ban over 85's in the Manchester area !!)

 

I realise it can be a tremendous loss of liberty, but why should it require an incident for an elderly driver to realise they are no longer fit to drive,  under todays traffic conditions ?

 

 

 

 

82 REPLIES
MKSlinky
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

Really it depends on a number of factors as follows:

  • Eyesight - Is it good enough and has it been tested recently
  • Ability to concentrate and remember where they are going
  • Hazard awareness - Is the person aware of other road users
  • Lane hopping - does the person frequently cut across lanes without warning or indicating
  • Does the person drive at such slow speeds as to be a hazard towards other road users
  • Has the person got a valid driving licence - once you reach 70 it has to be renewed every 3 years

All quite valid questions I feel but just because someone is old doesn't necessarily mean they're incompetent. Many old drivers have been driving for years and therefore are less likely to have accidents. HOWEVER, as we all age many people develop health conditions which can affect our ability to drive safely. Eyesight is a good one as is hazard awareness.

Take my 79 year old mum for instance, she's driven all her life and I happen to think she's one of the best drivers on the road, or should I say WAS? About 4 years ago she had an accident and the first I heard about it was when she phoned me on her mobile.  I dread such calls as we all do and I hastily drove to her location to find her and her friend both sitting in the car smack bang in the middle of the road. She had pulled out of a T-Junction and clearly hadn't looked right before doing so. Another car (Peugeot 206) with 4 young boys had ploughed into the side of her at speed. 

Now you might be forgiven for thinking that they were speeding anyway (boy racers, you know the type), well actually the road speed was 60 Mph anyway so it's doubtful with 4 passengers and especially as they were driving up hill.

To cut a long story short my mum blames it on the boy driving the other car however any sensible person could see it was her fault simply by the position of her car, i.e smack bang in the centre of the oncoming traffic.

Why did she have this accident? She wasn't paying attention. I tell her frequently she doesn't look when she pulls out and yes she even cuts across lanes at roundabouts. Will she stop driving just because we say so? NO, she likes her independence. Will she have another accident, I hope not but she's already scraped the car 4-5 times getting it in and out of the garage so she's not hazard aware either.

Roll on the day when the government makes it compulsory to resit your test at 70.

Oh and one final thing.., think you're a good driver?  I wonder how you'd respond if someone told you you're driving sucks?!! We'd all deny it and say we're good drivers of course because none of us notice how bad our own driving is. It's only the other motorists that notice these things.

My sister refuses to even go in the car with my mum nowadays and I only do it under protest. Scares the living [-Censored-] out of me that's for sure. 

Maybe one solution would be for the government to set up a website so you can shop your elderly relatives when you think they should stop driving. I only say this because I would rather my mum have her licence taken away than wait until she kills someone. 

Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

To say drivers should be banned on the basis of age is blatant age discrimination. If the person has disabilities which prevent safe driving then they should be restricted, but not purely on age.

I had my driving licence revoked on what turned out to be a wrong medical diagnosis. Driving licence revocation is not a suspension, if you are lucky enough to persuade the DVLA to re-issue the licence you'll find some previous entitlements removed. The DVLA are extremely slow and bureaucratic in this process of re-issue, you are treated like a drink drive criminal.

As a consequence, my company lost a major contract and employees lost their jobs, but there's no compensation.

 

Now this hoary old chestnut  of licence revocation on the basis of age resurfaces yet again. At the very least, people whose licence is lost on the basis of age should be fully compensated, via motoring taxes, so they can pay for taxi's to provide equivalent mobility to when they could operate a car. No, a free bus pass doesn't hack it.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Minivanman
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

I see no reason for a right to drive whatever your age, you are either competent to do so or you are not and Gods forbid we would would allow a ten year old behind the wheel or those of a hundred years plus on a motorway doing seventy. It makes no sense and is just asking for trouble.

As it is the age limits are fair as is the renewal requirements for pensioner plus drivers like mylelf which reminds me, the DVLA should have sent me a renewal form prior to 70th birthday last month, but they never did. Hmm.

As for bus passes @AlaricAdair they do 'cut it' to quite a degree, in fact the Mrs and myself often use ours rather than the car - I bought her a shopping bag on wheels when she qualified for one on her 60th!

 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Mayfly
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

In a word NO

but all unsafe drivers should be regardless of age.

Infinity
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

The scariest drive of our lives was a few year ago when we stayed with Elderly Relatives in Canada.

My Elderly Uncle had Macular Degeneration, he used to sit so close to his enlarged computer screen, yet he thought he was a safe driver !

 

His Wife didn't drive, so he was the sole driver.

 

Staying with them we felt obliged to be driven round by him.......

The number of times his wife shouted at him he was about to hit something, lots of "emergency stops"

Scary for us as Passengers. After a couple of fairly long trips visiting relatives etc, we made our excuses and didn't travel with them.

We got a Taxi back to the Airport Hotel.

 

Though, he never had  an accident driving, I think his Wife in attendance became his second pair of eyes, though she did admit it was wearing at times.

Long road journeys on fairly empty open highway, then going into a Town was the worst situation, he didn't really slow down and make allowance for other cars in front.

 

Sadly passed away now, natural causes.

Community Veteran
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

This can be considered to be an Ageist posting and should not be allowed.

 

However, as an "elder statesman"..I feel I must respond...   I am 72 , and have all my faculties, and I drive my car daily.. I do not "run amok in hospital carparks" , nor anywhere else,...   I shall be going to the hospital later this morning, and will take careful note of how many elderly drivers are performing this "running amok".. and if I see any, I shall report them to the hospital authorit, or car parking company, whichever is applicable.

 

You could apply your own statistical information and ban all drivers between the ages of 16 and 25.. because they are more likely to have an accident, which could , and does, involve them killing themselves or other "innocent" people in the process..

 

Equally.. you could ban drivers of 25 to 45  for the same reasons..   and how about those between the ages of 45 and 85 ..   

 

ban all drivers in fact.

 

Not sure what the situation is with regards to the number of people killed in accidents with Electric/hybrid cars due to them being so quiet... so maybe we should ban all those cars too...

 

this would do the country the world of good, because there would be an immediate reduction in the amount of toxic gasses in the air ... Which, @Infinity seems to be your favourite subject...

 

The bid downside of all that banning, is that there would also be an increase in the number of unemployed, due to car manufacturing ceasing through lack of sales,..

 

and , of course, personal taxes would also rise, because the government would not have any income from those now unemployed...or  business rate taxes. fuel taxes, etc..  of course, they would have to ban taxis too !..

 

Your posting has all the hall marks of a Daily Mail article, using such phrases as "running amok in hospital carparks" as if there was no other place for them to "run amok".

. or that elderly drivers used all hospital car parks to "run amok" in.. because they have nothing else to do..

 

 

Minivanman
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

On the question of age and licence, I lost mine last week and applied for a new one at a cost of twenty smackers paid on line. Now it turns out that I could have had one for free as part of the renewal process when you reach 70. 

Do they give refunds? Apparently not according to the lady on the phone earlier. Can I complain? Most definitely, and email sent!

Just another swizz 

PS. Like PlusNet the DVLA has a fb site but for the life of me I cannot see how you can post on it. Do I have to 'join' or something?

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
chuffchuff
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

At Christmas the local council announced it was withdrawing support for local bus service therefore there are no buses so really no need for a bus pass will be the next option.

Several years ago the local council turned off the street lights at night as part of cost cutting and just as a trial period, now they are refusing to turn them back on. Refuse collections now moving from a two to three week service, libraries closed 3 days a week, some libraries being closed altogether and the land sold off for redevelopment,  municipal recycling centres closed two and a half days a week with more days being set aside to be closed. More recently a government spokesperson suggested that serious consideration should be given in the future to homeowners who do not meet certain criteria being rehoused in more compact housing and their homes used to alleviate the "housing crisis".

So before anyone starts debating whether the way we live is an optional extra they may wish to consider where it will all lead to. Have a look at Logan's Run (1976).

Community Veteran
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

Whilst I agree with most of the above posts I would draw your attention to what insurance companies charge drivers in the various age groups.

They will have detailed figures regarding accidents and base their premiums on those figures.

I think a number of accidents caused by elderly drivers is due to a lack of attention or elderly drivers using automatic cars and leaving them in reverse position when parking, we have seen a number of elderly drivers reverse into shops and other cars at speed in this area, perhaps others might want to comment on that ?

Community Veteran
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

@chuffchuff

Very true !

We pay more and get less.

As for housing, there is only so much land. In this area house building is so bad that every inch of spare land is being used to build houses on. I am convinced the planning committee automatically approve planning providing certain criteria are met as refusal results in an appeal to the government which costs the council thousands of pounds irrespective of whether or not the appeal is successful.

nadger
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

@Minivanman To date I've been lucky with over 70 renewals - I should soon receive another as will be 82 in June.

 

These days my mileage between vehicle MOTs is so low that I'm beginning to wonder whether it would be cheaper to use taxis.

Community Veteran
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

No of course not, plain silly.

If someone had the temerity to judge drivers solely on age / accidents then probably no one would be allowed to drive until in their late twenties.

Luzern
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

Having reached 80, and having driven since 18, I could, but don't claim any sort of kudos. I continue to drive, but moderating it to a minimum when ever possible. Making certain manoeuvres like joining from a slip I try to avoid distractions (even as far as silencing my companion(s), and frequently take a second look.

Swank, definitely not, for I have kept to my would be 120 y.o. father's advice: "the bloke in front is an idiot; the bloke behind is an idiot, but remember you're the biggest idiot of the lot".

As to my fellow elderlies, some can be too slow and over cautious. Yet not all bad that happens is down to them. What about the aggressive young tailgater, who seems to be wanting a rear entry to our car, and getting horny with it?  

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Re: Should Elderly Drivers be Banned ?

Next they'll want you have a sign on the back of the car displaying your age.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.