Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAP's to the test
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Campaigners have called for elderly road users to receive annual medical checks from their GP to ensure they are still fit enough to drive. However, there has been no indication on how the rule will be enforced with campaigners warning policing could be an issue.
Alex Buttle, Director at Motorway.co.uk said there is no clear punishment for those who miss their appointments.
He said: “[Policing it] would be my worry. Does the NHS have capacity for that?
“That’s a huge amount of strain on the NHS potentially.
“What would happen if you miss an appointment as an elderly person?
“Would you be banned from going on the road, will the police arrest you if you’re driving without that licence?
“Does it become an extension of your licence or is it just an advisory?
“It does feel like something which could open up more strain on the NHS when it doesn’t need it at the moment.”
The idea for regular GP checks has been pushed by Victoria Batman who lost her son Josh in a car accident invoking an elderly driver in 2019.
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In an effort to change the rules surrounding elderly driver checks, she has plans to introduce “Josh’s law”.
She said GP approval would be needed so the DVLA could be made aware of any road users who have medical conditions which may affect their driving ability.
Police forces have recently said as many as 30 percent of over 70s fail to inform authorities about any medical conditions.
In a bid to get the proposals discussed in Parliament, Ms Batman has launched an online petition.
Ms Batman said she intends to keep fighting for those who have lost family members in similar situations.
She said: “It’s so important we have this conversation about elderly drivers, after going through what we did, I spoke to a number of families who have been through the same experience.
“So many families have lost loved ones this way – something has to change, it can’t be allowed to go on anymore.
“We’ve been hearing how lots of people get their license automatically renewed without reporting their health conditions. It all causes accidents.
“I understand that old people are reluctant to give up their licenses as it is key to their independence.
“It’s a way of getting out and communicating with others, it stops them feeling isolated and alone.
“There’s plenty of capable 70-year-old drivers, it’s not everybody, but at the moment the checks and the law aren’t strong enough.”
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