Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAP's to the test
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Elderly drivers should have their reaction times and vision tested bi-annually to ensure drivers are fit to sit behind the wheel. He said medical checks would “prioritise road safety” and warned older drivers their independence was not worth more than someone’s life.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Freeman said: “Once you get to the age of 70 you should have your reaction time and vision tested every two years as a minimum.
He added: “ I think there should be at least every two years a face to face, physical examination where reaction times and vision are actually tested.
“I know it sounds harsh and I do appreciate that when we get to a certain age we want to continue with our independence and our freedom.
“But we have got to prioritise road safety, we can’t say your independence is worth more than someone’s life.”
Campaigner Linda Jones is pushing for drivers to face annual checks to prove they are “not a danger to the public”.
Her husband Simon was killed by an elderly driver in 2019 while cycling to work.
In a similar scenario, mother Victoria Batman has pushed for drivers to be forced to visit their GP to give consent for them to continue driving.
Ms Batman’s son was killed after being hit by an eldely driver in Orpington in 2019 and is pushing for stricter checks to save drivers from similar heartbreak.
Elderly drivers may soon face ‘annual checks’ [COMMENT]
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Elderly drivers may face new road rules like curfews [ANALYSIS]
But Drive Mobility is pushing for elderly drivers with some medical conditions to be allowed to drive under some circumstances.
This would include night time curfews and distance limits of up to 30 miles.
However, Mr Freeman has warned older drivers could have their lives changed in a split second by making the slightest driving error while suffering from illness.
He has suggested drivers should be able to pay for the medical examination if they wish to run a vehicle.
Mr Freeman told Express.co.uk: “Your local GP will do it. They’d have to do it.
“Your local doctor or DVLA will have to roll out some service for it and maybe they’d have to be a small charge.
“You need a qualified medical practitioner to assess your vision and your reaction time.
“My view would be if you suffer from an illness then you go every year. If you don’t suffer from an illness then I would go every two years up to the age of 80.
“But beyond the age of 80 I would say every year.”
He added: “Who foots the bill is another issue.
“It may be when you get to a certain age you have to say ‘ I can afford to run a car’, I am going to contribute £50 to £100 towards a medical examination’.”
A spokesperson from the Department for Transport has previously urged drivers to inform the DVLA of any medical conditions.
They said: “It is the law that all drivers must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency about any medical conditions which might affect their driving.”
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