Over 70? It’s time to be careful!

As 70 years of age hits, it is time to renew your license!

If you or a loved one is over 70 and a driver, he/she may need to take regular eye tests every three years in order to keep their driving license. Although the Department of Transport has not put this condition in place yet, several proposals are being considered in an attempt to make the UK’s roads safer for everyone.

License renewal after 70 is already a requirement and every three years after that. However, now talks are in place to ensure that over 70 drivers take certain eye tests to ensure their eyesight is good enough to drive in various conditions – night time, during the rain, etc. Senior citizens are already required to mention any medical conditions they may have when applying for a license renewal. The process is simple and usually conducted online. The new requirements, if they go through, may change this process.

Currently, the proposal is under consideration and research is being conducted on the issue. If there is any indication that making an eye exam every three years for those over 70 will decrease the number of road accidents and deaths caused by accidents, there is a high chance of the proposal being accepted.

The government is also in talks regarding a graduated license, a license which is conditional and puts restrictions on drivers according to their health, experience, etc in order to increase road safety. Accordingly, recent drivers or new drivers may not be allowed to drive at night.

The driving test also has an eye exam that requires candidates to read number plates from a distance of 20 metres. Once candidates pass the driving test, they must periodically make sure their eyesight is sharp enough to allow for safe driving.

If the driver requires corrective measures such as glasses or contact lenses, he/she must always wear them during driving or can be subject to their license being cancelled. In the same context, in 2018, over 4.600 over 70 senior drivers had to give up their license due to eyesight problems.

However, the Department of Transport has reiterated that drivers are not only making roads unsafe due to poor eyesight but the ability to concentrate, manouver the vehicle, and coordination ability is also equally important. Hence, renewals of licenses should not only be based on whether or not an individual’s eyesight is up to par but other factors too. Nonetheless, sharp eyesight is crucial to safe driving.

There are other proposals in line to help older drivers remain competent such as sessions which aid in enhancing confidence , educating older drivers on how to refrain from feeling vulnerable or disoriented during rush hour, etc.

Currently, there is no maximum age limit for driving in the UK and as long as an individual is healthy and mentally alert, he/she can continue driving.

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