Mandatory eyesight tests for older drivers ‘essential’ despite blaming youth for road risk

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The Older Drivers Task Force recently released a report which found that over the next 20 years, car driver deaths in the 70 to 79 age group are expected to rise by 40 percent. As a result of these figures, they recommended introducing mandatory eyesight testing with an optometrist or medical practitioner.

Currently the DVLA urges drivers to inform the Government agency of any problems which may affect their eyesight.

The DVLA have recently called on elderly drivers to take action and ensure their driving licences have been renewed in advance to prevent any delays.

The Government department said it was working hard to return to normal processing times for paper applications, advising people over 70 to use its online services where there are no delays.

Julie Lennard, DVLA Chief Executive said: “Drivers looking to renew their licence at 70 and over should use our online service, which is secure, free of charge, and also the quickest, easiest and way to transact with DVLA.

“Customers usually receive their driving licence in just five days.

“Always remember to always use GOV.UK when using any of DVLA’s many online services.”

A number of elderly drivers voiced their displeasure at the recommendations from the Supporting Safe Driving Into Old Age report.

Some pointed out that younger and newly qualified drivers are most at risk on the roads, whilst others suggested that all drivers, regardless of age, should be required to take an eyesight test.

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In response to the backlash, a Department for Transport spokesperson told that all measures were under review.

They said: “Safety remains our top priority and we will continue to ensure we strike the right balance between keeping the roads safe and maintaining people’s personal mobility into old age.

“We keep all measures under review and will consider the wider outcomes of this report.”

The report was funded by the Department for Transport to support commitments in the 2019 Road Safety Statement. 

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