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A call to raise age limit to ease pressure on DVLA
posted on Mar 04 2014 by Jade Hensby
A recent review by transport officials has said that pensioners should be allowed to drive until they are 80, before the have to renew their license. Many officials are saying they need to relax the current mandatory renewal age of 70 to save money and make the Drivers and Vehicle License Agency (DVLA) more efficient.
The DVLA is feeling the weight of renewal applications from pensioners who still want to drive in their 70s, according to the Department for Transport. Currently in the UK, drivers must send their license to be renewed when they reach 70, and declare if they have any medical conditions which could affect their driving, and confirm they can still read a number plate at 65ft. Once a driver reaches 70 they must apply every three years to keep driving.
However, with nearly 60% of the over 70s now driving, the agency have said they now deal with 1.4 million items of ‘medical mail’ a year.
According to Mary Reilly, a non-executive director of the Department for Transport, if we raise the renewal age it could relieve pressure on the DVLA ‘with little or no impact on road safety’.
However, according to a report published by the RAC and Transport Research Laboratory, it found that 10% of Britain’s 4 million drivers that were over 70 were not fit to be driving. Other safety organisations warned last night that the change could lead to more serious accidents on the roads. A spokesman from the road safety charity Brake said “it is concerning the Department for Transport is considering raising the age for license renewal.
The regulation that is in place is there for a reason...at this age, conditions that can significantly impair your ability to drive safely become much more common. They also went on to say that ministers should strengthen rules for older drivers, not weaken them.