According to a report published by the RAC Foundation, the 3.7m drivers born before the Second World War are among the safest people on our roads – and forcing them to take compulsory retests will limit their mobility, be hard to police and do little to reduce accidents (PACTS newsletter, May 2010).
The report, ‘Maintaining Safe Mobility for the Ageing Population’, suggests that public debate needs to focus on older drivers’ opportunities to self-regulate rather than on stressful retesting or licensing restrictions.
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: "We are unlikely to see retesting at 70 because, despite the myths, older drivers are no less safe than other age groups. Retesting in this way could also contravene recently passed equality legislation.
"Older drivers should be encouraged to do refresher training where the evidence shows it has benefits, but they should see this as an offer of help, not a compulsory measure which will leave them fearful of losing their licence and becoming increasingly house-bound.
"Licence renewal at 70 provides a useful prompt for drivers to consider their health and abilities in relation to driving and this should be extended to the rest of the population through the 10-yearly renewal of the driving licence photo-card which we all have to do.
"It is in everybody’s interest to keep older people mobile for as long as they are safe to do so.”
Click here to read the full RAC Foundation news release.