The Crown Prosecution Service has announced Prince Philip will not face prosecution for his involvement in a collision near Sandringham last month. The crash sparked a national conversation about older drivers on UK roads. Last weekend it was announced the 97 year old would be surrendering his driving licence.
Under current rules, the DVLA require a self-declaration of fitness to drive at the age of 70. With over five million of UK licence holders aged 70 or above, ITV Tonight explores whether this system adequately protects older drivers, pedestrians and other road users.
Tonight reporter Ginny Buckley has been on the road to meet older drivers, discussing the prospect of them hanging up their keys and putting three volunteers through their paces.
Having a car in later years can be a lifeline - providing security and independence. Some older drivers choose to have their skills assessed and some may change their habits, such as avoiding driving at night or in adverse weather conditions. There are still more crashes involving drivers under the age of 24 than any other age group.
Former nurse Laura Robinson’s life was changed when she was hit by an elderly driver, seriously damaging both her legs. At 29 years old and 18 months into her recovery, she relies heavily on her family to care for her.
The Older Drivers Task Force was established four years ago to look at the safety of older drivers. It concluded the current system for licence renewal needs to change. In 2016 it recommended the Department for Transport should raise the mandatory self declaration age to 75 and require evidence of recent eyesight tests. In 2019, the system remains the same.
The Department for Transport told Tonight:
Watch ‘Too Old to Drive?’ on ITV on Thursday 14th February from 7.30pm.