Will older drivers be “dobbed in” and face refresher courses?

A happy senior man sitting in car in driver seat.

To make sure elderly drivers can still operate a vehicle safely, it has been suggested that they take refresher training.

Normally in these sessions it consists of an instructor observing an elderly person driving and giving them advice and tips on how they can improve.

When commenting on the topic on Britain’s Newsroom, Martin Daubney and Bev Turner said there had been a surge in people referring others to the authorities because of concerns with their driving.

The two presenters stated they were “uncomfortable” with the trend of drivers being “dobbed in” to the DVLA if they fear they are being unsafe.

Seb Goldin, CEO of RED Driver Training, spoke to GB News about people speaking to elderly drivers about the possibility of “hanging up their driving gloves”.

He said: “In terms of relatives and friends dobbing people in, that’s just a process where if people are concerned about the driving capability of a friend or more likely a relative, they can write to the DVLA or the GP and suggest that person no longer has the capability to keep driving.

“In the current model, there is no mandatory age, which seems about right, and people self-select so there will come a moment when a relative suggests that driving is a thing that some people cannot continue to do.

“People could be in denial when they perhaps get to the point where their faculties are no longer at the level.

“What we’re suggesting as an organisation is that when you get through the driving test, it doesn’t mean you’re a safe driver.”

According to Mr. Goldin, the idea of RED Driver Training is for individuals to think of driving as a talent they are constantly learning and honing.

He continued by saying that although most people believe they are excellent drivers, this may not always be the case because people may always improve.

There have even been some suggestions that there should be a cut-off or maximum age limit for motorists to stop driving.

Mr Goldin said: “Should there be an age cut-off? We don’t think so. There could be someone in their early 80s who is far more capable and a lot more competent than someone far younger. It very much depends on how people do.”

Compulsory retesting becoming a trend was questioned by Martin Daubney, especially with an ageing and growing population.

Mr Goldin stated this would be unlikely, although there are always people suggesting that this should be changed to adapt to changing road habits.

He said: “It’s not something that we see in other countries around the world and having a specific age or time that you have to toss your licence in seems plainly wrong based on the differences in people’s capabilities.

“Our proposal is that people self-select and brush their skills up. Particularly if they’ve had time out of driving as well.”

In contrast to the younger age categories, drivers over the age of 70 must renew their licences every three years, not every ten.

Drivers under 25 are the cause of the highest rate of collisions on the road, particularly young male motorists.

Bev Turner concluded, saying: “I have to say anything that is pro-motorist and pro-driver, I’m on board. More power to our elderly. If that means getting a refresher course, then so be it.”

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