The DVLA has recently revealed some interesting figures about drivers in Wales. It says that there are around 4,000 people driving on the roads who are over ninety years old. This could be quite a concern given that the Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM) has said that there is a significant increase in the number of accidents for elderly drivers when on 70mph roads.
Some people have called for seniors to be banned from using motorways and that they should be retested regularly to make sure they are still safe to be on the roads. Roy Orringe, from Wales, is 89 and has said, “If I didn’t have my car I don’t know how I would cope. The bus service is not good enough and I need the car to get around. Other than a crash in 2006 and a speeding ticket, I have a completely clean driving record.”
Data about those involved in crashes is rather contradictory to those who claim older drivers are not safe on the road. Generally drivers who are over seventy are involved in few crashes compared to those who are under thirty. However, there are places on the road where the figures for the elderly crashing cars are much higher – especially at junctions that are entering roads with high speed limits.
Currently the system as to whether the elderly are healthy enough to drive only requires them to be honest about their health. All those over seventy have to renew their licence every three years and this does not require a visit to the doctor.
The DVLA has said that they system is working however, with a spokesman for the organisation saying, “They have a legal obligation to tell us, as do their doctors if they find a reason why their patient cannot drive.”