A Driving Instructor's Blog

This story from California is interesting. It begins:

My neighbor said her 98-year-old father was beside himself recently. He told her he had failed his driver’s test. He’d been a Teamster, for heaven’s sake — he drove for a living without an accident — and now some DMV goon decided his driving was unsafe.

“I hear the same story on a daily basis,” said John Locher. “A senior will say, ‘I’m a safe driver. I drove all over Europe in World War II. I’ve driven all over the country and haven’t had a ticket my entire life.'”

In fact, he was failed for macular degeneration – which means he couldn’t bloody well see properly!

In the UK it is a huge issue because older drivers don’t have to take a re-test. All they do is fill in a form once they’re 70 (and every 3 years thereafter) declaring that they’re still medically fit to drive, and back comes the licence. And they don’t even have to pay for it!

The problem is that many septuagenarians just lie so they can keep driving.

I’ve mentioned before about my dad. He has macular degeneration (right now, he’s almost blind) but about 10 years ago when he was having trouble seeing properly he was planning to hire a car and travel 250 miles to Portsmouth (after I refused to lend him mine). I warned him there and then that if he did I would report him to the police. I confess to being selfish – I didn’t want him to kill himself – but having someone who can’t see out in a car or van is a frightening prospect as far as other road users are concerned.

The UK has no maximum age for driving. It should have, though.

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