Around 67 percent of Generation Z — people born between 1997 and 2012 — and 65 percent of millennials — people born between 1981 and 1996 — believe older drivers should have to retake their driving tests, according to Veygo.
From the 1,500 UK drivers surveyed the majority of those under 44 years old were in favour of the retakes, while just a third (36 percent) of those over 55 agreed.
When drivers reach 70 they are required to renew their driving licence every three years instead of the usual 10, but there is no upper age limit for motorists. The DVLA notifies all drivers 90 days before their 70th birthday to remind them.
The increased renewals aim to help keep medical records up to date and allow drivers to confirm they have sufficient eyesight to stay behind the wheel.
READ MORE: Elderly motorists should be forced to retake driving test
James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo, said: “With road rules and safety fresh in the mind of new drivers, it’s unsurprising that they are hyper-sensitive to mistakes or road errors that they may witness in older drivers. And with new Highway Code rules having come into force this year, there’s debate over how aware of these changes older drivers will be.”
He continued: “Recent DVSA data on pass rates show that tests taken in the last year by those aged 60+ have a much lower pass rate than that of younger drivers, at 34 percent. By comparison, the average pass rate of 17-25-year-old learners this past year was 50 percent, and the national average is 48.9 percent.
“This suggests that introducing retests for over 70s could bring down the national average pass rate. But age or time on the road shouldn’t be directly associated with driving ability.
“Just as we believe our very young driver customers are safe on the road and equipped with up-to-date knowledge, this also applies to an experienced 60-year-old motorist.”
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Driving theory tests were first introduced in 1996 to quiz learners on their understanding of the Highway Code. In the past 26 years, several updates have been made, most recently in January 2022.
However, one in five drivers over 55 admit they have not revisited the Highway Code since passing their test, according to research by Age Co. The organisation said this was a “concerning result” considering 75 percent of people drive multiple times a week, and some daily.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research, argued earlier this year that older drivers are safer. He said: “In reality, new drivers are the most at risk group and older drivers are among the safest.
“Statistics do however show that drivers over 85 do start to have more crashes as their faculties fade and their experience is no longer enough to compensate. Older drivers really value their independence and it may be that a tougher testing regime is an acceptable trade-off to allow them to keep driving.”
So what do YOU think? Should elderly motorists be forced to retake their driving test? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.