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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

EYESIGHT TESTING IS TOP PRIORITY FOR SAFER DRIVING IN OLDER AGE,SAYS THINK-TANK


Evidence of a professional eyesight test should be fundamental when renewing a driving licence from the age of 70 as an ‘MOT’ of driver fitness, according to the Older Driver Task Force.

A team of experts and organisations in this field, which has written to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) head of safer road users. As NHS eyesight tests are free for the over 60s, there is no extra cost to the motorist and there are also other potential benefits beyond road safety too.


Under ‘Cassie’s Law’ when a police officer believes that the safety of other road users would be put at risk if a driver with insufficient eyesight remains on the road, they can ask for the licence to be urgently revoked. The Task Force says there is a need to raise awareness of this among police forces, provide more training and carry out random testing to help identify the scale of the issue.

The main purpose of the Task Force is to help to enable older road users to drive more safely for as long as possible. People are living longer and being able to continue to drive into old age has significant benefits for the individual as well as the community at large.


In the letter, Older Drivers Task Force Chair, John Plowman asks for DfT contributions and involvement in these initiatives; in developing a national standard for mature driver assessments; and towards further research and understanding of the specific challenges older drivers face, particularly at right-turns at T-junctions.


He highlights opportunities in vehicle development to address the needs of older drivers, saying that crash testing can be modelled digitally to address the physical characteristics, such as frailty, of older people.

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