Older drivers face eye tests

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Posted: 190801
The Times reports today that "older drivers are facing compulsory eye tests for the first time as part of UK Government plans to improve road safety. The Department for Transport said it was considering mandatory tests for all motorists at the age of 70 followed by repeat assessments every three years. It said the vision test could be used to “identify drivers who pose a collision risk”, with motorists who fail an eye test likely to be banned from the road.

The disclosure was made as figures published by the DfT yesterday showed for the first time that more than two thirds of people aged over 70 had a full driving licence. According to the figures, 67 per cent of people in the oldest age bracket had a driving licence in 2018, up from 64 per cent a year earlier. In the mid-90s, only 33 per cent of those aged over 70 got behind the wheel.

The DfT said age “should not be a barrier” to driving and insisted that motorists’ knowledge, experience and skills could improve over time. However, it acknowledged that cognitive and physical capability could also decline with age, affecting reaction times and increasing the chance of an accident.

At present licences expire when motorists reach 70 and must be renewed every three years. Drivers have to declare their eyesight meets legal standards and flag up other relevant medical conditions. However, there are no compulsory assessments. GOV.UK link