‘Most need ability tested’: Elderly drivers call for greater measures to make roads safer

Dr Hilary discusses the risks for older drivers

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A recent report from the Older Drivers Task Force listed a number of proposals to keep elderly motorists safe on the roads. One of them was for the Driver and Vehicles Licensing Agency (DVLA) to require evidence of a recent eyesight test.

The report also states the DVLA, insurers and others should encourage vision checks every two years, particularly from those who are over the age of 60.

These suggestions were made to develop the “framework, advice, self-help and technology available to support the fast growing number of older drivers”.

This comes as 65 percent of drivers don’t know the legal eyesight requirement set by the DVLA for driving safely.

This is to be able to read a number plate from 20 metres away.

This set of statistics, from Lenstore, also found that a massive 67 percent of people surveyed believe drivers over the age of 60 should not be allowed to drive on public roads.

One in five people believe drivers should have to retake their driving test every five years to ensure they are fit to drive.

The Association of Optometrists has previously called for all drivers to have a compulsory vision check when they first apply for a licence.

This would be when renewing their licence every 10 years or every three years for those over 70.

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Almost 70 percent of respondents believe drivers over the age of 40 should have eye tests once a year to ensure they are fit to drive.

Roshni Patel MCOptom, expert optometrist, commented on the findings and said it was crucial for all drivers to get their eyes checked regularly.

She said: “With several accidents still taking place on the roads as a result of poor vision, it is crucial for drivers to be receiving regular eye examinations.

“Motorists should take an eye test at least once every two years to ensure they are fit for the roads and not causing any dangers to themselves or others.

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