With older driver safety in the spotlight over recent weeks, the results of two surveys suggest there is public support for mandatory re-testing.
The issue of requiring motorists to retake their test at a certain age in order to keep their licence, was thrust into the public eye earlier this month following the collision involving the Duke of Edinburgh.
The collision elicited a mixed response from road safety stakeholders, with RoSPA describing age as a ‘red herring’ and ‘a completely arbitrary and unreliable measure for assessing someone’s ability to drive’.
However, IAM RoadSmart issued a call for the Government to ‘put action behind their words’, in terms of doing more to improve the safety of older drivers.
According to a survey conducted by Buyacar.co.uk, public support for regular mandatory driver re-testing has increased following the Duke of Edinburgh’s crash.
Reported by ADI News, the online car sales website says before the crash a small majority (53%) said drivers should be re-tested – which has subsequently increased to 66%.
The most common time scale for re-testing favoured by respondents to the Buyacar.co.uk survey was every 10 years – but a majority of drivers also believe it should be linked to age.
A separate survey, carried out by Select Car Leasing and published in the Independent, suggests that more than half of young drivers believe motorists should have to resit their test once they turn 60 years.
In the survey, 60% of car users aged 18-34 years said they felt road safety in the UK would be improved if older motorists had to periodically take a mandatory refresher exam.
Across all age groups, 35% agreed that a mature driver test should be introduced.
However, speaking to the Independent, Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said it would be premature to force senior drivers to face renewal exams, and may be discriminatory.
Luke Bosdet said: “Rules around this have already been tightened with doctors in the UK granted greater power to intervene if they believe patients are a threat to other road-users in the UK.”