Driving: Older People

Department for Transport written question – answered on 28th January 2016.

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Photo of Richard Burden Richard Burden Shadow Minister (Transport)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to promote safety among older drivers; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Andrew Jones Andrew Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The crucial factor for road safety is not a driver’s age, but their physical and mental fitness to drive. The current licensing arrangements support road safety without penalising those older drivers who remain fit and competent to drive.

When drivers aged 70 and over renew their licences, they must declare any medical condition that could affect their fitness to drive and confirm that they meet the legal eyesight standards. Renewals are at three-yearly intervals and provide a timely reminder for drivers to consider their health in the context of driving.

Additionally, all drivers have an ongoing duty to inform the DVLA at any time of the onset or worsening of a medical condition that may affect their ability to drive safely. When a driver declares a medical condition, the DVLA will investigate their ongoing fitness to hold a driving licence.

The Department has provided grant funding to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to develop a dedicated older drivers website that will provide information to drivers and their families on driving safely. The website should go live within the next couple of weeks.

We will consider the Older Driver forums review of older driver safety when it is published, subject to priorities set out in the British Road Safety Statement.

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