The UK does not have a maximum driving age, yet motorists over the age of 70 are required to renew their driving licence every three years instead of 10. The increase in elderly drivers has led to some motoring groups calling for licences to be revoked at 85. However, Express.co.uk readers are largely against such proposals, a new poll has shown.
There will be an estimated one million drivers on Britain’s roads be over the age of 85 by 2025, according to the Older Drivers Task Force. They said that it is “vital” the UK is ready to “prepare for this demographic change”.
There are some 134,000 drivers over the age of 90 on Britain’s roads with the number of motorists over 70 almost doubling since 2012 to 5.7million.
Kevin Pratt, car insurance spokesperson at Forbes Advisor, said: “The UK’s roads are getting more crowded, with improved longevity playing its part as drivers stay behind the wheel for longer.”
He continued: “Should there be a blanket requirement to surrender your licence when you reach, say, 85? That seems draconian, given that there are bad drivers and good drivers at every age. But the Government will need to confront the issue at some point given the demographic factors that are slowly but surely putting more elderly drivers on the road.”
READ MORE: Motorists demand ‘respect for the elderly’ as they slam age proposals
In a poll that ran fro 1pm on Tuesday, February 7, to 1:30pm on Friday, February 10, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should motorists have to surrender their driving licence at 85?”
In total, 3,462 readers responded, with the overwhelming majority, 91 per cent (3,148 people), answering “no”, those over 85 should be allowed to keep their driving licence.
Whereas eight per cent (278 people) said “yes” they should have to surrender their licence, and a further one per cent (36 people) said they did not know.
In the comments below the accompanying article, readers discussed their thoughts on elderly drivers.
Many readers were against a maximum driving age, with username mrmoan describing it as “blatant age discrimination”.
Username wavydavey wrote: “It seems unfair to have a blanket ban on driving over a certain age. I’m 78 and I’m maybe a little more cautious than I was say 10 years ago but still safe and I don’t hold people up.”
They continued: “I would be in favour of a check drive with an instructor or examiner, maybe every couple of years and even a medical. We are all different and our abilities deteriorate differently too.”
Likewise, username Dwinjames favoured a medical test for motorists. They said: “I think at that age annual medical and aptitude tests would be appropriate.”
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While winding down your car window will certainly cool down your pet on a warm journey, this could land you with a fine in one of many odd driving laws that UK motorists have to abide by.
Or did you know that using your phone to pay at a drive thru is against the law?
Read more about the weird driving rules you need to know…Link
They added: “The right to drive should not be taken away lightly but necessarily when you endanger yourself or others by your lack of capabilities to do so safely.”
Meanwhile, some expressed concern about the impact removing so many drivers would have on the running of the country.
Username SailorPSTS commented: “There are a considerable number of HGV drivers over 70, having yearly medicals, God help this country if they are all stopped from driving.”
And username sutty61 added: “No they shouldn’t. Can’t base ability on age.”
However, username expattaffy1 commented on their personal experience and concluded: “I think I would be in favour of an age cap, to be honest.”
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, shared her thoughts on how driving gives older people the freedom to lead independent lives but warned that motorists need to be honest about their abilities.
She told National World: “We are all required to disclose certain medical conditions to the DVLA that could possibly impede our capacity to drive safely. These include health problems like stroke, Parkinson’s Disease and glaucoma, most of which are a lot more common as we get older.
“The ability to keep driving makes a huge psychological and practical difference to many older people, but the reality is that for many of us, the time will come when the smart thing to do is to hang up the keys for good. Knowing when the right time is to call it a day with driving can be difficult and sometimes our loved ones may realise that’s the position we have reached before we do ourselves.”