OAP re-testing 'not effective'

A report has claimed that elderly motorists have a better safety record than younger drivers, and a mandatory driving re-test for over-70s would have little effect on reducing accidents.

The RAC Foundation said making re-testing mandatory for elderly motorists would limit their mobility and will be hard to police to enforce.

Its survey found that elderly drivers are among the safest motorists and 53% of over-70s hold a driving licence. Around 63% of all trips made by the over-70s are by car where they are either the driver or a passenger.

Currently 16% of the UK population is over the age of 65 and the number is predicted to increase to nearly a quarter by 2023.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "We are unlikely to see re-testing at 70 because, despite the myths, older drivers are no less safe than other age groups.

"Re-testing 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 housebound."

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