Elderly Drivers Should Have Medical Checks Every Two Years To Keep Roads Safe, Lawyer Says
A leading motoring lawyer has expressed his belief that elderly drivers should be subject to medical checks every two years in an effort to minimise accidents on the road.
Nick Freeman admitted that the stipulations may sound ‘harsh’, and said he appreciates that we want to ‘continue with our independence and freedom’ when we get to a certain age, but countered: ‘We can’t say your independence is worth more than someone’s life.’
The lawyer said road safety is a priority, so to ensure drivers are fit to sit behind the wheel he recommended people aged 70 and over who are not suffering from an illness should have their ‘reaction time and vision tested every two years as a minimum.’
Speaking to The Daily Express, he continued: ‘I think there should be at least every two years a face to face, physical examination where reaction times and vision are actually tested.’
Elderly drivers who suffer from an illness should be checked every year, Freeman believes, as should those over the age of 80.
The lawyer noted that getting involved in an accident can change a driver’s life in a ‘split second’, so he suggested drivers should be able to attend a medical examination with a local GP or service run by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
He said: ‘You need a qualified medical practitioner to assess your vision and your reaction time.’
Freeman suggested drivers could pay for the examination themselves, though added: ‘Who foots the bill is another issue.’
He continued: ‘It may be when you get to a certain age you have to say ‘I can afford to run a car’, I am going to contribute £50 to £100 towards a medical examination’.’
A spokesperson from the Department for Transport has stated that drivers must inform the DVLA about ‘any medical conditions which might affect their driving,’ as required by law.
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