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Most people want elderly drivers to take fitness tests to keep licence

More than half (51 percent) of road users thought all drivers should have to surrender their licence altogether – regardless of their health and fitness – when they hit advanced age. A further 12 percent of survey respondents believe this should happen at some point in a person’s early 80s.

That idea, perhaps unsurprisingly, curried less favour with people in older age brackets – more than half (55 percent) of over-70s asked said no such law should be introduced, although a third said it was a good idea.

Asked whether drivers aged 70 and over should face mandatory health and fitness checks in order to keep their licence, 77 percent of people said yes.

Almost two-thirds of respondents over 70 said they were in favour of being tested. 

Currently, drivers over 70 have to renew their licence every three years but do not face any mandatory health or fitness tests to do so.

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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. 

“But how do we manage the potential problem of having an increasing number of drivers with declining faculties and health problems that might impair their driving ability and lead to accidents?

“Many older drivers will tell you that their experience and cool-headedness make them safer drivers in the same way that inexperience and exuberance can make those under 25 a riskier proposition. 

“But others will argue that a mandatory health test for those above a certain age makes sense, as only those that fail will be affected, with wider benefits for road-users generally.”

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According to new data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), the number of driving tests taken by those aged 50 and older has increased by 259 percent in the last year. 

Around 3.5 times as many tests taken by this age group in the 2021 to 2022 period, than in the previous 12 months.

It has been estimated that there will…


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