Should elderly drivers be forced to take retests?

Drivers over 70 are no more likely to cause car crashes, according to IAM

Retests for older drivers

Older motorists do not pose a greater risk on the road and should not be forced to take compulsory retests, according to the Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM).

Research by IAM claims that drivers over the age of 70 are no more likely to cause a crash than any other driver, while they're considerably less likely to cause an accident compared to younger drivers.

Around eight per cent of drivers currently on the road in the UK are 70 or over, but they only account for four per cent of all injury crashes.

In the current system, motorists are required to renew their driving licence at 70 and then every three years after that.

Plus, the number of elderly drivers is set to rise rapidly with the ageing population. By 2017, the number of drivers over 90-years-old will increase by 18 per cent (12,400), taking the number to 82,400 on the road. At the same time the number of 80-year-old drivers will rise from 1,049,058 to 1,283,000 in the next 10 years.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Despite the increase in numbers, we should resist calls for compulsory retests for elderly drivers. The government needs a strategy now on how it is going to manage more elderly drivers and make them more aware of the risks they face. 

“The top priority must be non-compulsory driving assessments available nationwide to help them deal with modern high speed traffic and eliminate any bad habits."

What's your opinion on compulsory retests for drivers over 70? Do elderly drivers pose a greater risk on roads than others? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below...

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