Should old people be made to re-take their test?

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  • Should old people be made to re-take their test?
  • Was driving home this evening and was nearly taken out by an old lady who was in the completely wrong lane on the roundabout and she seemed completely unaware I was even next to her (in my people carrier not bike). Luckily I was able to react quickly enought to save the accident from happening.

    Also on Saturday morning I saw on our local shopping park roundabout 2 parked cars blocking the roundabout and 2 old people were swapping details in the road as one of them had pulled out and side struck the other car. The cars were driveable and there was an empty car park just off the roundabout which they could have pulled into to exchange details rather than stop on the roundabout and cause an even bigger hazard.

    Now to be fair to them, our local roads have changed so much over the years that when they learnt to drive I am sure there wasn’t 4 lane exits on roundabouts and the shopping park was once fields so it must be difficult at times.

    But should we be making the older generation re-take their tests or have some kind of re-fresher course?

    Is it really just old people that are bad drivers or am I being ‘Oldist’ and should we all be made to have re-fresher courses to make us ‘better’ drivers?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Statistically, young drivers are far worse (in terms of insurance risk, which is a pretty decent measure) than old drivers, though IIRC the risk starts increasing again above 50, and drivers over 80 do start approaching the same risk as young drivers.

    However I certainly agree with your point – older drivers should be retested. This is a measure which would certainly remove some of the risk of older drivers as they are dangerous because they lack the skills required, whilst that isn’t the problem with young drivers (there isn’t any such obvious method available to decrease their risk). However I wouldn’t make this an ageist thing – all drivers should be retested regularly (say every 5 years), and given the experience the should have gained, it should also be far harder than the standard test.

    The trouble is, it isn’t a vote winner.

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Subscriber

    If they’re anything like the FiL, then yes, they should be retested. He’s Mr Magoo incarnate. I think we’ve let FB jnr be subjected to his driving twice in 2 years and that was a very reluctant last resort. He’s the typical “never had an accident in x yrs” but there have probably been a few in his rear view mirror.

    You really are impatient waiting for Jackass jnr if you’ve the people carrier already!

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    anyone involved in a crash should be made to retake a test

    You really are impatient waiting for Jackass jnr if you’ve the people carrier already!

    Well ive had it 2 years now so yeah I guess I was a bit eager!

    It has nothing to do with the fact I can get 4 bikes and 4 people in it honest! 😉

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    Everyone should be retested every 5yrs IMO and the test should be far harder. electoral suicide of course so it will never happen but for sure that would reduce accidents greatly

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    Didn’t I just say pretty much all of that, TJ? 😉

    I’m really getting worried now – it’s gone far beyond noting with surprise when I agree with TJ, I can’t even remember the last time I disagreed with him!

    Premier Icon FB-ATB
    Subscriber

    Sorry Jackass had similar comments after going from a 206 to a 307SW for better bike capacity, deny it was a SprogWagon & then 18 months later FB jnr arrived.

    TJ It’s the same with the Highway code, how many of us read it after we’ve passed the test?

    Certainly my ‘non’ biking friends thought I was slightly mad getting one! They however don’t seem to moan when you can take all the seats out and help them move!!

    Trouble is now I always end up driving which is properly why I end up with all the crazy old people on the road – lol

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    the Highway code, how many of us read it after we’ve passed the test?

    Personally only when I want to back up a point in an inter/intranet discussion on correct driving. 😉

    dooge
    Member

    I agree that people over a certain age should be re-tested. Not just because they might be ‘out of touch’ but for health reasons as well. My grandad was 84 when he stopped driving and he should have stopped at 80. Its different for all people but he didnt have the reactions. Once he got to 80 he changed drastically, and we were scared of him driving the car. It was a mess when he sold it because of nudging this and scraping past that and the crack in his bumper when he reversed too far into a bollard in a carpark.

    I dont agree every 5 years as its mega expensive. After 65 I think maybe a health check should be done and maybe at 75 a driving test should be performed. Maybe I am ageist, I know many young drivers who should not be on the roads as they are nutters, purely unsafe. But they dont drive like that all the time, and in the times when they are being sensible, they are far more safer than the average 75 year old. Reactions times for example. Young drivers are in a way better than older people because their reaction times are much faster. Obviously, this makes some people cocky.

    Whereas young drivers its cockiness and in-experience, older drivers its reaction times and health problems.

    desf
    Member

    TJ It’s the same with the Highway code, how many of us read it after we’ve passed the test?

    I’m thinking of having it tattooed on my arse, or maybe just printed on my cycling shorts. It would be the only way that some drivers will ever see it again.
    🙁

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    I dont agree every 5 years as its mega expensive.

    How much does a test cost? How much would a retest cost? How much do you spend a year on running a car?

    I know many young drivers who should not be on the roads as they are nutters, purely unsafe. But they dont drive like that all the time, and in the times when they are being sensible, they are far more safer than the average 75 year old. Reactions times for example. Young drivers are in a way better than older people because their reaction times are much faster.

    I couldn’t care less if they’re capable of driving more safely – it’s the fact that they don’t that makes young drivers far more of a problem than older ones (as backed up by the stats). The issue as I said before is that there’s no such obvious solution to the reasons behind young people’s bad driving.

    Whereas young drivers its cockiness and in-experience, older drivers its reaction times and health problems.

    Totally agree with that and young people can only get experience from making mistakes – we all remember our first knock! and hopefully they grow out of their cockiness (I know I did when I hit a lamp post outside our house and having to tell my parents) but with old people they get stubburn and insist they are still more than capable of driving.

    If you look at the statistics they often refer to death from driving accidents and ages. I do however wonder how many simple knock and bumps are reported from young and older drivers?

    Also a lot of young drivers have accidents with more than one person in the car which put the statistics up as more people are injured or sadly killed.

    Sorry mis-type there, young people don’t only get experience from making mistakes they also get it from spending time on the roads!!

    mrmo
    Member

    all drivers should have a retest and a medical, no point singling any single age group out. Yes it would cost but since when has driving been a right?

    More worrying though, new drivers loose their licence if they get 6points, if you look at the numbers who have had a licence revoked and look at the retest numbers? there are a lot of young drivers with no licence, no insurance etc.

    Further, having the premiums as high as they are and the lack of apparent enforcement, you have to ask why bother with insurance.

    Everyone, without exception, should be made to re-take some of the driving test on a regular basis.

    retro83
    Member

    Just a computerised hazard perception test like young people will have done as part of their theory test would be a great start. I’m really worried about my grandad still being on the roads.

    hora
    Member

    More worrying though, new drivers loose their licence if they get 6points

    That is a genius idea. It made me very careful for my first two years as you are very aware of the consequences. It strips out all the bad drivers earlier.

    surfer
    Member

    Everyone, without exception, should be made to re-take some of the driving test on a regular basis.

    I wonder what it would do to the second hand car market?
    I dont disagree but it would have implications when people are coming up to re-taking their tests.

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    People should definately have a re-test! I went to an accident which involved a 90 yr old woman who just pulled straight out at the roundabout as she couldn’t turn her head enough to see. When i mentioned this as a danger to her she said “it’s okay dear I don’t drive at night”. She then had no comprehension that she has just knocked a cyclist off who had gone to hospital with a broken ankle and kept saying to me “can I go as I need to get home before it gets dark?” she really couldn’t understand that she wasn’t going to be driving anymore as I reported her to the DVLA for medical reasons! I mean FFS!!!!!

    Similarly (personal story now) I know someone who was driving with Parkinsons, when it was really bad. He needed assistance getting to and from the car as his shakes were so bad. Had to say to family either you stop him driving NOW before he kills someone OTHER than himself or we will report him to DVLA! Again he was over 70.

    I think when you reach old age you beome stubborn and like someone has already mentioned “it’s okay I’ve been driving for 60 years without an accident”. mmm need I say more.

    Definately need to re-test people. They don’t need to make it mega expensive and it only needs to be 1 hour of driving around cities then a bit of dual carriageway/motor way work. Could be the price of a 1 hour lesson rather than silly money!

    PeterPoddy
    Member

    I’ve always been a fan of regular re-testing, and especially some sort of medical.
    The problem as I see it is that everyone regards a driving license as a RIGHT to have, not a PRIVILEDGE.
    There are people on the roads (And I’ve sat next to a couple of them) who really don’t have the skill or aptitude to drive a car, and that’s the scary part. In just the same way I’ll never be an artist, they just can’t drive a car. End of.
    Yes, there’d be complaints when they were refused a licence, but if those that make the rules REALLY believed in making roads safer, they’d remove the worst drivers from them instead of putting up more useless speed cameras and the like. But that will never happen because cameras make money, and by removing bad drivers from the road would loose money.

    I know people who think it’s funny that they smack into kerbs all the time, can’t complete the simplest reversing manouver and go all the way round roundabouts in the left hand lane. I’ve been in the passenger seat when the driver stalled a 2 litre VW diesel engine at over 20mph because they simply had no clue what gear they were in and were randomly selecting any gear they could find. This lack of skill, and more to the point lack of attitude, scares me silly….

    disagree with the parkinsons comment,

    our neibour had the shakes (cant for the life of me remmber what the casue was), and was as good a driver as anyone, ok he managed to write off a landrover which is quite an achievement, but that was an accident, not a medical thing.

    My gran barely drives anymore since busses became free, maybe better publicity for the alternatives is a better idea?

    IanMunro
    Member

    I think some sort of refresher course could be in order for very old drivers just to keep them aware of current driving standards. I don’t think it even has to be a test, but the thought of going on a course in itself would make many people of a certain age self examine if they are still competent.
    I think continous retesting of the general public is pretty daft. People rarely crash because they don’t follow the basics covered in a test. They crash because they choose to ignore laws or have a mental perception of the world out of kilter with reality. Repeating a driving test won’t alter either of these traits.

    boblo
    Member

    I’m in total agreement of the regular training and testing concept regardless of age and/or experience.

    However we’ve all immediately assumed regular training/retest/medical regime would mean extra cost to the driver. That’s because we live in a political (not party political) environment where any costs that can be transferred to ‘punters’ are.

    How about we increase driving capability by training, regular testing/medicals and that has to have an impact on accident frequency and possibly severity. There is a cost saving here which should be recycled (the Govt call it hypothecated) into the training/licensing function.

    You never know, if the sums are correctly worked through, it could even be self funding….

    Pigs? Flying? Where?

    MrNutt
    Member

    you’re ALL WRONG.

    Driving should only be allowed between the ages of 20 and 50, outside of that age people have to use public transport, this would greatly increase the income of the infrastructure and thus enable a major overhaul.

    retirement should also be compulsory at 50 with a fixed state pension of £200.00 per week.

    children should be forced to leave school at 16 and work, they would then be on a very high rate tax bracket until they reach 25 when the remain on the high tax rate but 50% of all tax is directed straight into their pension.

    if they don’t want to work then its national service.

    ok?

    (teenagers are full of youthful exuberance, angst and always feel hard done by, much better to put it to work)

    jojoA1
    Member

    MrNutt for PM!!! 🙂

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    What about the “school run mum” – I find them the most dangerous type of driver – fast as they are always running late, aggressive as they are cross and inattentive as they try to control a car full of screaming brats. special test for them?

    You cannot single out the old for retesting especially as as a grooup they have less accidents and less serious ones compared to young drivers.

    We are all going to be old one day, but I for one think a ‘retirement’ test should be taken perhaps every 5 yrs – at the moment I think its left to a Doctor to assess wether old people are entitled to be allowed to drive.
    There are so many drivers of an age that seem to have no spacial awareness or any interest in what is going on behind them while they plod along at 20mph.

    gusamc
    Member

    Hey Jackass – how you going to shop as a pensioner ?

    I cringe a bit when my dad drives (80 – ruralish Scoland), he’s ok on ‘known’ roads but a less good in unknown territory(slower awareness, slower decision making, less visbility[old eyes, body moves slower and is less flexible] etc). He has diabetes and gets medically reviewed annually.

    However, he does have some features going for him that I’d suggest were positive and, and I’ve generally found missing from most drivers:
    – he knows his limitations – so doesn’t drive rush hour, won’t go anywhere new unless absolutely required, nearly always takes the back road route, makes somebody else drive if possible
    – also he tends to do it slowly, thus (and I accept that this probably irritates the **ck out of MOST other drivers) but unless it’s an oncoming it s probably going to be a shunt as opposed to speed induced carnage

    In a nutshell I suggest he has age related faults but I’d suggest that many other drivers have some much larger non age related faults – so I’d start with thm first.

    (more of a personal rant)
    Top Tip to the VAST majority of drivers here – especially if you have large sexual appendages. He also does something that seems to be nearly unheard of nowdays, – he actually uses the rear view mirror and will slow and blip left indicator on straights to let people who are in a hurry pass.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Of course most of the comments above relate to vehicle damage caused by older drivers, not normally injury. Young drivers are responsible for a huge death rate on the roads, and unfortunately they don’t just kill themselves.

    Over the weekend there was a crash locally involving a teenager and a 70plus year old. Coming out of a national speed limit zone, both vehicles travelling in the same direction, the teenager ends up dead, car upside down. Obviously the older drivers fault? I know it’s one specific instance, but I think it sums up this debate.

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