‘Test the over 70s every THREE years!’ Debate on elderly drivers as number of over 90s with driving licence doubles

‘Test the over 70s every THREE years!’ Debate on elderly drivers as number of over 90s with driving licence doubles

Former Top Gear presenter argued that we should have maditory eye tests to drive

Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 02/01/2024

- 10:01

Former Top Gear presenter claims 'we should have a driving test every year'

A debate broke out this morning as former Top Gear presenter Steve Berry claimed that "we should have a driving test after turning 70 every three years."

Speaking on GBNews, Nick Freeman, a lawyer who specializes in the defence of traffic and speeding case, agreed that elderly drivers should be retested.

This comes as there has been a call for a mandatory eye tests to boost road safety after the number of people aged 90 or above holding a license has doubled in the past 10 years.

Freeman said: "My view is very simple. From the age of 70, there needs to be a mandatory eye test and a mandatory medical test because it's not just about vision, it's also about reaction time.

Nick Freeman, Isabel Webster, Eamonn Holmes and Steve Berry

The duo agreed that drivers should be tested more often


"I would have that every two or three years. You have to see a doctor for a nominal fee and depending upon how you perform, you continue to drive.

He added: "It just doesn't make sense. So you clearly need a system in place to make sure we're safe. The current system is is inadequate."

Berry agreed: "I've got to agree with what Nick said and perhaps go a bit further. At the moment, we renew our licence every 10 years.

"We just send off some a small amount of money and get a license. I think we should have a retest every 10 years. And I think after 70 you should have one every three years."

An elderly driver

Elderly driver numbers have doubled


To play devils advocate, GBNews host Isabel Webster said: "My neighbour's 90 and I see her heading off to the shops and I really admire and respect her.

"Surely it's much more frightening when your 17 year old son's driving off down and he's just passed the test. His eyesight is absolutely fine, but he's raging with testosterone and everything else?"

To which Berry responded: "There's no other form of transport where we just allow an easy renewal.

"Pilots can't just automatically renew their pilots license and they can't just self report and say oh yeah, my eyesight is fine."

Nick Freeman, Isabel Webster, Eamonn Holmes and Steve Berry

They argued for mandatory eye tests ​


Freeman added: "I'm not necessarily saying we should have tests every three years because I think that's too onerous.

"But I do think we should have a a test on the Highway Code. I mean, anecdotally, I drove back from the Channel Tunnel the day before yesterday.

"The standard of driving was utterly appalling. Lane control, lane hogging, people in the 3rd and 4th lane. It was astonishing. And not one of those persons was an old driver.

"We need to improve our driving and it isn't just the old drivers that are causing the problem, it's ignorance.

"We need to tune into the Highway Code because most people have not got a clue."

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