The number of motorists over the age of 70 having licences revoked for medical reasons has soared, according to new statistics.Almost 22,500 elderl
The number of motorists over the age of 70 having licences revoked for medical reasons has soared, according to new statistics.
Almost 22,500 elderly drivers had their licences taken away last year – which is 142 per cent higher than the number rescinded on medical grounds in 2010.
That’s according to figures obtained from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency following a Freedom of Information request by the Times.
It comes after Prince Philip’s crash near the Queen’s private home at Sandringham in Norfolk earlier in the year.
Revoked: The DVLA took the driving licences away from almost 22,500 motorists over the age of 70 last year because they were deemed unfit to be behind the wheel of a car
The DVLA is coming down harder on motorists with driving-impairing issues and illnesses – and not just elderly licence holders, the data shows.
The figures show that 61,482 car and motorbike licences were withdrawn in total during 2018, which is 117 per cent higher than 2010.
Elderly drivers experience the biggest loss of licences, though.
The DVLA revoked just 9,265 from motorists over 70 years of age in 2010. Last year, it took licences away from 22,453 drivers in this age bracket.
The statistics were requested following growing concern for the number of elderly individuals still driving today.
The subject was thrown into the limelight earlier this year when Prince Philip was involved in a collision in his Land Rover Freelander in January, causing injury to two occupants in a Kia driving near the Queen’s residence in Norfolk.
Number of licences revoked on medical grounds in 2018 compared to 2010
17-19 years old: 1,294 licences revoked – 93% increase
20-29 years old: 5,198 licences revoked – 102% increase
30-39 years old: 6,621 licences revoked – 76% increase
40-49 years old: 8,057 licences revoked – 74% increase
50-59 years old: 9,416 licences revoked – 151% increase
60-69 years old: 8,323 licences revoked – 128% increase
70-79 years old: 12,360 licences revoked – 127% increase
80+ years old: 10,093 licences revoked – 163% increase
Source: DVLA figures provided to the Times
Motoring groups and road safety charities have been calling for stricter measures for older drivers to stay on the road following Prince Philips crash earlier this year
Prince Philip, 97, decided to stop driving less than a month after he was involved in a collision that left two women injured
DVLA records show that 5.3 million individuals over 70 currently hold a driving licence – which represents around two thirds of the elderly populations.
In the mid-1990s, just 39 per cent in this age range were still on the road.
Under current rules, driving licences expire when motorists reach 70.
From then on they have to be renewed every three years.
Drivers are responsible for declaring that their eyesight meets legal standards and flag up other relevant medical conditions that might result in them not being safe at the wheel.
However, there are no compulsory assessments required for these motorists to retain their licences.
Safety groups have called for tighter restrictions on these elderly drivers.
A spokesperson for road safety charity Brake told the Times that regulation around drivers’ fitness to drive should be ‘more rigorously enforced’.
This could include compulsory eyesight tests and checks of medical records before the DVLA releases licences back to older motorists.
AA president Edmund King echoed calls for tougher measures, calling for evidence of regular eye tests for elderly drivers and stricter guidance from GPs.
However, Caroline Abrahams, the charity director for Age UK, said elderly drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents than younger motorists and the threat of taking their licences away could hamper their quality of life.
The number of driving licences revoked from motorists over the age of 70 rose 152% between 2010 and last year. Licences taken away from drivers of all ages on medical grounds were up 117% over the same period
‘For many older people, driving is crucial to maintaining independence so it’s important that they should not be prevented from getting behind the wheel by their age alone,’ Abrahams told the Times.
Drivers legally need to notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency if they’ve suffered from strokes, epilepsy or visual impairment before being deemed fit to take control of a car on British roads.
However, there are some conditions in particular that many people don’t know they need to tell the DVLA about before hitting the road – including deja vu and eating disorders.
You can see the full list of medical conditions you need to notify the DVLA about having if it has an impact on your capacity to drive a vehicle,
The Department for Transport said the issue of older drivers would be addressed in a ‘refreshed road safety statement’ that was due to be published later this year.
MEDICAL CONDITIONS THE DVLA LISTS THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR DRIVING
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
Balloon angioplasty (leg)
Brachial plexus injury
Brain abscess, cyst or encephalitis
Brain injury (traumatic)
Branch retinal vein occlusion
Broken limbs and driving
Burr hole surgery
Carotid artery stenosis
Chronic aortic dissection
Congenital heart disease
Coronary artery bypass or disease
Diplopia (double vision)
Grand mal seizures
Heart valve disease or replacement valve
High blood pressure
Hypoxic brain damage
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD)
Ischaemic heart disease
Left bundle branch block
Lewy body dementia
Low blood sugar
Malignant brain tumours
Manic depressive psychosis
Memory problems (severe)
Motor neurone disease
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Peripheral arterial disease
Petit mal seizures
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Sight in one eye only
Sleepiness (excessive daytime)
Spinal problems and injuries and driving
Temporal lobe epilepsy
Tonic clonic fits
Transient global amnesia
Transient ischaemic attack (TIA)
Valve disease or replacement valve
Vision in one eye only
Visual acuity (reduced)
Visual field defects
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