Elderly driving rules proposals could lead to ‘complacency’ and ‘compromise road safety’05/08/2021
Elderly drivers: Confused.com put OAP's to the test
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Experts at Drive Mobility have suggested elderly drivers with serious medical conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease could be allowed some freedom to drive. Those affected would be issued curfews and pre-set distance limits of up to 30 miles from their home.
Black box telematics divides would also be installed in cars to monitor drivers behaviour.
These would also be fitted with tracking devices to ensure road users were not breaking the rules.
Under current rules, drivers with severe medical conditions are urged to give up their licence.
However, motoring lawyer Nick Freeman has warned the new proposals would “compromise road safety”.
He warns the new proposals were “inviting people” with serious illnesses to use the roads which could lead to safety risks.
He warned surroundings should have “no bearing” on whether a driver is fit enough to get behind the wheel.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Freeman said: “We can’t compromise road safety and that is what these provisions are doing.
“They are inviting people with serious illnesses to say under these limited circumstances you can travel 20 to 30 miles from your home.
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“Just as long as it’s between 9pm and 7am in the morning. We’re prepared to take that risk.
“Well, a person can kill someone 100 yards from his house. All he needs to do is pull out from a junction and not see someone.
“The fact that they are familiar with their surroundings has no bearing. It bleeds complacency.
“If you’re ill and you’re confused, you’re ill and you’re confused. It doesn’t matter where you are.”
Edward Trewhella, expert at Drive Mobility said the new proposals would allow elderly drivers to go to the shops by themselves or visit immediate family members.
He said many drivers preferred staying local at an older age and the new rules would simply “regularise” it.
However, Mr Freeman said there should be “no middle ground” and would be a risk “never worth taking”.
Mr Freeman told Express.co.uk: “What I’m saying is very simple, if you’re fit to drive you’re fit to drive.
“If you’re not fit to drive, you’re not fit to drive. There is no middle ground.
“You cannot compromise road safety by saying you’re not fit to drive but you’re sufficiently fit to drive within 20 or 30 miles firm your house between certain hours of daylight.
“That is such a compromise. It is a risk that is never worth taking.”
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