Elderly drivers suffering from illness should ‘hang up their boots’ – ‘no longer safe’

Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAP's to the test

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He has warned illnesses could have an effect on their driving ability which could put older drivers at risk of being involved in an accident. He said it should be “the duty” of friends or family members to report elderly drivers who are showing signs of illness to protect them.

Mr Freeman has warned some elderly drivers could suffer life-changing consequences simply down to a moment of illness.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, he said: “There’s a balance to be struck between allowing people particularly who are elderly and ill to continue with their freedom and road safety.

“In my view, I think this is the right view, if you are capable of driving then you should drive.

“If you’re in fact not capable of driving then it time to hang up your boots.”

He added: “You’re either fit to drive or you’re not.

“It’s not like you’re dealing with under 25-year-old drivers where there is a good reason to restrict them.

“You’re curtailing driving with friends at night time, drinking, getting up to the kinds of stuff that young people might be tempted to do.

“This is different, these are people who are basically ill, what is the effect of that illness on their driving.

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“If it is that their driving is impaired to an extent where they are no longer safe, they can’t drive, they shouldn’t drive, their license should be taken off them.

“It’s the duty of either themselves or their family or friends to report them.”

His comments come after Drive Mobility has come up with a proposal which could see some elderly drivers with medical conditions issued a range of road restrictions.

This would see elderly drivers over the age of 70 who are suffering with illnesses such as dementia, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease some freedoms to drive.

The rules would put curfews in place for some drivers and would see distance limits of up to 30 miles.

Telematics devices would also be fitted in cars to monitore the safety of drivers and act as a tracking device.

Some police forces have reported as many as 30 percent of over 70s with medical conditions do not notify the DVLA of their problem.

Mr Freeman has warned drivers must always contact the DVLA if they have any concerns over their driving ability.

He said there were “literally hundreds of illnesses” where drivers have an obligation to inform the authorities for further assessment.

He told Express.co.uk: “From a legal perspective any driver irrespective of age or illness has a legal responsibility to notify the DVLA of anything that may adversely impair their driving ability. That is the existing legal position.

“You have a duty to report yourself if you are concerned your reaction time isn’t that great.

“You may be suffering from blackouts or headaches.

“If you’re suffering from dementia, diabetes, Parkinson, a whole host of illnesses.

“Even if you suffer from depression you must notify the DVLA.

“There are literally hundreds of illnesses where you have a legal obligation to tell them ‘I suffer from this’ and then they will assess you and determine whether you can continue to drive or not.”

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