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Dave Beans

Should The Elderly Be Regularly Tested?

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I was watching the end of Motorway Cops tonight, and they had an old chap who had driven the wrong way up a slip road and he joined the motorway on the wrong side of the road. Luckily no one was hurt, and he only saw sense to stop driving, once his son and the police told him that perhaps he should. It later transpired that the DVLA had later revoked his license. I wonder how long he'd been driving in his state before anyone took notice.

So, should the elderly be forced to take regular test to see if they are capable in driving? Perhaps every two years? I do understand that many live in rural areas with a lack of public transport.

The independent argue that the elderly are the safest on the road..perhaps because they do the fewest miles, driving the smallest cars. Younger drivers are being enticed to "pay as you drive" so that if they want to drive during peak accident hours (after 11pm) then they will be charged massively on their insurance.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/motoring-news/elderly-drivers-safer-than-young-motorists-1944278.html

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Guest Absolutely Fabulous

I believe the DVLA see "elderly" as 70+, so i'd probably use this as a yardstick..

http://www.direct.go...ence/DG_4022086

I'd be happy to submit to this testing. smile.gif If I get to the point where I am no longer safe on the road and I haven't the wit to realise it, I need to be stopped.huh.gif

I live in a part of the country top-heavy with 'oldies', Some are OK on the road, some are definitely not.ph34r.gif I am aware of this as I drive round. There ARE numerous undiagnosed cases of dementia...and I seem to meet most of them!rolleyes.gif

As to independence: Ring and ride is fine and where I live one can get ALL one's provisions delivered - free, in most cases - from a nearby town. No need to stagger round carrying bags and cluttering up the S/market aisles either.

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Guest eight

I was watching the end of Motorway Cops tonight, and they had an old chap who had driven the wrong way up a slip road and he joined the motorway on the wrong side of the road. Luckily no one was hurt, and he only saw sense to stop driving, once his son and the police told him that perhaps he should. It later transpired that the DVLA had later revoked his license. I wonder how long he'd been driving in his state before anyone took notice.

So, should the elderly be forced to take regular test to see if they are capable in driving? Perhaps every two years? I do understand that many live in rural areas with a lack of public transport.

The independent argue that the elderly are the safest on the road..perhaps because they do the fewest miles, driving the smallest cars. Younger drivers are being enticed to "pay as you drive" so that if they want to drive during peak accident hours (after 11pm) then they will be charged massively on their insurance.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/motoring/motoring-news/elderly-drivers-safer-than-young-motorists-1944278.html

Two things, not exactly related to your post.

One, it irritates me massively to hear people whinging about the cost of their private health insurance spiralling as they get older, when I very rarely hear anybody sympathising with the reverse position that the young find themselves in when it comes to car insurance. I'm absolutely staggered by some of the premiums that younger aquaintances of mine are paying - literally thousands of pounds in most cases. As insurance is a legal requirement I'd like to see it made illegal to load the policy on the basis of anything other than choice of car, and drivng record. I believe it is already illegal to factor race into the calculation, for instance. The same should go for age and sex, or people can become the economic victims of horrible generalisations. This is supposed to be pooled risk, after all.

The second thing is that I couldn't believe that the police kept that woman hanging about on the hard shoulder of the motorway when they knew that there were children in the car, just because she'd had the frightening (and expensive) misfortune of having something fall off her car.

eight

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How about some sort of compromise.

I don't think a full test every 2 years is required. How about once anyone reaches 65 they have a basic safety/control/awareness test every 3 or 5 years ? Basic 10 minute job. Would not cost much and anyone, not even an instuctor, would have a very good idea after only 10 minutes if the person was still capable of driving safely or not. If they thought not ? They are put forward for a real test that they must pass.

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Guest Absolutely Fabulous

How about some sort of compromise.

I don't think a full test every 2 years is required. How about once anyone reaches 65 they have a basic safety/control/awareness test every 3 or 5 years ? Basic 10 minute job. Would not cost much and anyone, not even an instuctor, would have a very good idea after only 10 minutes if the person was still capable of driving safely or not. If they thought not ? They are put forward for a real test that they must pass.

Those simulated doodahs would suffice. As you say, no serious costs involved.

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Those simulated doodahs would suffice. As you say, no serious costs involved.

Yep good plan. Couple of simulators set up in DVLA offices. Come in - all automated - done in 10 minutes. 3 attempts. If you pass you carry on. If not you take a full test. Job done.

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Constant retesting for all is expensive and unnecessary because the vast majority of older drivers are perfectly safe. Instead the police should be encouraged to refer a driver, irrespective of age, for reassessment if they have committed a major traffic violation. I live in East London and many of the local drivers have clearly never passed a British or European driving test in the first place. I was nearly hit on Monday evening by a minicab doing a U-turn across the pavement, through a bus stop and then jumping a red light before making an illegal right turn. Of course it would be good if many traffic regulations were enforced in the first place. The focus of debate is often on speed cameras but I think this takes attention away from far more serious problems such as drivers jumping red lights or driving without insurance.

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Constant retesting for all is expensive and unnecessary because the vast majority of older drivers are perfectly safe.

I would not agree with that. As people get older their reaction times slow. How many pints would an average 30 year old have to drink to have the same reaction times as an average 80 year old ?

Many old drivers are basically drink driving without the booze - in terms of their ability to respond quickly.

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Those simulated doodahs would suffice. As you say, no serious costs involved.

Although how many would know how to use a computer, etc... I think many would complain about "it was the machines fault" that it failed me, because they didn't know how to use it / or they're scared of modern technology.

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Retest/review for evreyone evry 5 years.

Two weeks ago, had I not pushed my kids out of the way and jumped into the road, We would have been run over ON THE PAVEMENT!!!

Stupid cow, early 60's at a guess, had not only parked the car fully on the footpath, but decided to reverse without looking behind her. There was four of us, two kids, two adults. She started out 30 metres away at a slow speed, and not only didn't see us, but started to F-ing accelerate. She had absolutely no idea we were there until we banged on her windows. I hope she crapped herself.

Anyway, rant over!

I'd have everyone reviewed 2 years after they pass their test, then every 10 years until 60, After 60 I'd like to see a gradual reduction in the number of years between checks.

I consider my driving licence to be an earnt privilege, not a right! If I'm not fit to be on the road, at whatever age, my licence should be revoked until I am capable of passing a full test again.

I'd also like to see the government introduce a bus pass OR driving licence system at 65. If you are rich enough to be able to run a car then you should not be entitled to a free bus pass!

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Yep good plan. Couple of simulators set up in DVLA offices. Come in - all automated - done in 10 minutes. 3 attempts. If you pass you carry on. If not you take a full test. Job done.

Yep, sounds just the job.

Add an option to do the same thing with a real human being, but charge five times as much. That should deal with technophobes.

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Guest Absolutely Fabulous

Definitely agree older drivers should be tested regularly.

I worry about my old man's driving ability, it ain't good. sad.gif

It IS difficult to tell someone that they'd be better NOT driving. MY OH did not take my hints so it was left to my son to raise this spectre.

I just would not get in the car with him, after he nearly killed the pair of us, not once but three times! I reckon I MUST have a guardian angel, somewhere 'out there.'rolleyes.gif

One of the blokes who narrowly missed hitting us on one of these occasions, had the reflexes of a cat - thank God - or I'd have been a goner.ph34r.gif

The sad thing is he was always such a good driver.

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Yep, sounds just the job.

Add an option to do the same thing with a real human being, but charge five times as much. That should deal with technophobes.

Very good plan. They would soon be up with the new technology.

Many old people are worse than drunk drivers. Some of them much, much worse.

As for the original subject of this topic - I don't think the old man last night on TV even got charged ?!

That is ageism if I ever saw it. If I were to do that it would be dangerous driving in a jiffy.

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I think a quick Drs assessment every year should take place, becuase the dr is likely to see older people more frequently for a start.

They can tell if any of the prescription drugs could make them unsuitable for driving, I believe some drugs still have the warnings dont operate machinery but many also make people absentminded or lacking in concentration so equally as bad in my books.

It needs to be every year becuase bodily functions can deteriate rapidly they older in life you are, likewise things like testing in the winter would show up people who cant react quickly enough due to their arthritis for example.

I've nearly been knocked over on a zebra crossing a few weeks back becuase the old driver didnt see me. Cataracts?

I've lost count on how many times I've avoided accidents becuase of old drivers not reacting or being aware of their surroundings.

It is very hard though telling old people they need to stop driving, my grandad was a lorry driver for a large part of his life and a very good one too, but he's too old now to drive becuase of teh minor scrapes and bumps he keeps getting into. Funniest was when he reversed into a vicar whilst stuck in traffic, he even accused the vicar of coming out of nowhere right up to his rear bumper!

I dont think sitting in a docs surgery is going to be more useful than actually starpping an old chap into a car/simulator then saying 'Lets go'.

Have a few basic test throughout to asceratin reactions. Very very very very simple to do. Have a cut off and record it all automatically. If they fail then they need to do a real test. They get 3 tries and each try has teh 'events' at differing random points so the person cannot 'learn' when to expect to have to break/swerve whatever.

Seems simple, easy and fair to me. All you are checking is they can see a reasonable distance and they have reactions that are acceptable.

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I think a quick Drs assessment every year should take place, becuase the dr is likely to see older people more frequently for a start.

They can tell if any of the prescription drugs could make them unsuitable for driving, I believe some drugs still have the warnings dont operate machinery but many also make people absentminded or lacking in concentration so equally as bad in my books.

It needs to be every year becuase bodily functions can deteriate rapidly they older in life you are, likewise things like testing in the winter would show up people who cant react quickly enough due to their arthritis for example.

I've nearly been knocked over on a zebra crossing a few weeks back becuase the old driver didnt see me. Cataracts?

I've lost count on how many times I've avoided accidents becuase of old drivers not reacting or being aware of their surroundings.

It is very hard though telling old people they need to stop driving, my grandad was a lorry driver for a large part of his life and a very good one too, but he's too old now to drive becuase of teh minor scrapes and bumps he keeps getting into. Funniest was when he reversed into a vicar whilst stuck in traffic, he even accused the vicar of coming out of nowhere right up to his rear bumper!

I think that the whole driving scenario needs updating, TBH. Age allowed to drive should be 21, the way it once was. Too much testosterone and the need to show off - in many teenagers - resulting in tragedies. The number of times I read of youngsters in a car, all crammed in like cattle on a night out, p*sed or stoned, they kill themselves and some other poor sods.

The top age needs amending too. there ARE too many unsafe elderly drivers, I know... I live amogst 'em and you need to keep your wits about you to avoid accidents.

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I think that the whole driving scenario needs updating, TBH. Age allowed to drive should be 21, the way it once was. Too much testosterone and the need to show off - in many teenagers - resulting in tragedies. The number of times I read of youngsters in a car, all crammed in like cattle on a night out, p*sed or stoned, they kill themselves and some other poor sods.

The top age needs amending too. there ARE too many unsafe elderly drivers, I know... I live amogst 'em and you need to keep your wits about you to avoid accidents.

I think the only way forward is for "clumsy" drivers under the age of 21 (say they've had two accidents in year) is to have an insurance black box in the car, so that it makes it very expensive for drivers to drive after 11pm (perhaps a £1 a mile)...

Such as...

http://www.car-insurance-for-learner-driver.com/car-insurance-latest-news281106.php

I wouldn't be happy to see these go further widespread (I for instance wouldn't want them), but for youngsters, perhaps. Once they are seen to be able to drive in a safe manner, then they can get "normal insurance".. I'm personally not in favour of upping the driving age to 21.

Another thing is to severely restrict the engine size they can initially have (although expensive insurance does hinder bigger engines that youngsters can get)...Perhaps limit them to 1000cc engines for two years. AFAIK, a bike rider is limited to a 33 bhp engine until they are 21..

We have 3,000 deaths on the road..some say that this is far too high...However accidents will always happen. Driving will always have some level of risk attach to it. Deaths & KSIs are coming down, mainly due to the fact that cars are getting safer.. Tests are getting more stringent - which will hopefully make those learning to drive; better drivers..

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Good point, I look back at some of my driving antics and I cringe at some of the things I've done if honest, but it probably didnt help that I passed first time after 10 x1hr driving lessons with the SE's Chief Examiner. My driving instructor said after I came back with a pass, if I could pass with him I could pass with anyone. Only thing the CE did warn me about was keeping my speed down.

Herts Police inconjunction with Herts CC did put me on a one day driving course when I was a yoof, spent half a day in the skid car simulator (ford sierra in a metal trolley) at North Weald which was invaluable training for rain, snow & ice and the police sat with us driving around the M25 to ensure our motorway skills were up to par. The only time I've been able to speed with an onduty police officer as well. ;)

Driving tests and lessons should incorporate at least Motorway driving as a mandatory element but it would be nice to see some sort of training take place for adverse weather. Afterall if we are to believe the Govt about more extreme weather conditions in the future why not make it more plausible by reducing the risk drivers could be under in such weather conditions with some mandatory training & skills assessment?

Likewise if the Govt really want to keep speed related deaths down, why not force all car manufacturers to restrict cars to 70 like lorries have a 60mph restriction?

Problem I see with that is teh motoring & oil lobby is too powerful, so whilst driving more slowly saves on fuel and thus helps to hit CO2 targets from the green angle, the Govt loses more revenue and the oil companies lose out.

GPS tracking and speed control would also greatly improve things as some roads are not safe at what ever speed is allowed, a gps tracker could slow the car so it can take the bend at a safe speed.

There is Pass Plus...(which is optional)

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/LearnerAndNewDrivers/Passplusdrivingcoursefornewdrivers/DG_4022426

I did this. I went on the M5 for an hour or two. I think it was an extra 60 quid or something. However, most insurers didn't really take any notice of it..

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Guest eight

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tr6jm/Motorway_Cops_Wrecked_and_Reckless/

Here's the prog on iplayer (roughly 40 & 52 mins)...The old chap seemed totally oblivious that he was on a motorway...

Actually I recommend just watching the whole thing. To see that policewoman(?) in tears because she'd been caught using her mobile phone was quite, ahem, educational.

eight

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Guest Absolutely Fabulous

Good point, I look back at some of my driving antics and I cringe at some of the things I've done if honest, but it probably didnt help that I passed first time after 10 x1hr driving lessons with the SE's Chief Examiner. My driving instructor said after I came back with a pass, if I could pass with him I could pass with anyone. Only thing the CE did warn me about was keeping my speed down.

Herts Police inconjunction with Herts CC did put me on a one day driving course when I was a yoof, spent half a day in the skid car simulator (ford sierra in a metal trolley) at North Weald which was invaluable training for rain, snow & ice and the police sat with us driving around the M25 to ensure our motorway skills were up to par. The only time I've been able to speed with an onduty police officer as well. wink.gif

Driving tests and lessons should incorporate at least Motorway driving as a mandatory element but it would be nice to see some sort of training take place for adverse weather. Afterall if we are to believe the Govt about more extreme weather conditions in the future why not make it more plausible by reducing the risk drivers could be under in such weather conditions with some mandatory training & skills assessment?

Likewise if the Govt really want to keep speed related deaths down, why not force all car manufacturers to restrict cars to 70 like lorries have a 60mph restriction?

Problem I see with that is the motoring & oil lobby is too powerful, so whilst driving more slowly saves on fuel and thus helps to hit CO2 targets from the green angle, the Govt loses more revenue and the oil companies lose out.

GPS tracking and speed control would also greatly improve things as some roads are not safe at what ever speed is allowed, a gps tracker could slow the car so it can take the bend at a safe speed.

God idea! I often see people flying round sharp bends which have had a road warning of S-L-O-W and a speed limit sign, seemingly unaware that the faster you go round a bend the more you are pulled into the centre, making it dangerous for drivers coming the other way.ph34r.gif

Passing a test is fine, but it cannot give you comprehensive road sense. One must drive - always- in a state of anticipation of what the other drivers might do, and this takes time to achieve.

Most experienced drivers can see a hazard waiting to happen and avoid it - oftener than not - but then there is always that bolt out of the blue.

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God idea! I often see people flying round sharp bends which have had a road warning of S-L-O-W and a speed limit sign, seemingly unaware that the faster you go round a bend the more you are pulled into the centre, making it dangeropus for drivers coming the other way.ph34r.gif

Passing a test is fine, but it cannot give you comprehensive road sense. One must drive - always- in a state of anticipation of what the other drivers might do, and this takes time to achieve.

Most experienced drivers can see a hazard waiting to happen and avoid it - oftener than not - but then there is always that bolt out of the blue.

I'd never be in favour of completely removing control of a car from a human..

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