UK Politicians Want A Say In Who Can Drive

This page was last modified Mar 14, 2012 @ 7:31 am

For some bizarre reason a group of British politicians have expressed their desire to get involved the issuing of driving licenses. Specifically for the elderly and specifically for safety.

Unless there is a rampant problem of elderly people driving without insurance I can not see why the government would want to get involved.

Insurance companies are the experts when it comes to assessing risk and they say elderly drivers are the safest on the road. I would trust them because if what they are saying is wrong they would be out-of-pocket.

I would let the insurance companies sort it out and leave it at that. Personally I do not want to see taxpayers money going on something the private sector has a got a handle on. Why complicate things?

There are a few articles on the news, they all seem to have the common theme that the government know better than insurance companies…..

Piston Heads.

Older drivers need to take a refresher course once they reach a certain age. Not exactly a controversial statement, but this advice to the Government has come from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, or PACTS.

Mild-mannered where Brake is hysterical and far more influential within the corridors of power, PACTS could see this one pushed through.

We all know the dangers of elderly drivers. If we need reminding, there’s that shot of 93-year-old Jack Higgs’ Fiestaresting upside on PistonHeader Family Guy’s Porsche 993 back in 2008.

Or how about footage of an 84-year-old woman in Philidelphia driving the wrong way upan interstate in 2010.

But at the same time we all fear the day we’d have to permanently hand over the keys for our own safety. Not that we’ll be forced to. In the UK, you have to reapply for your licence every three years after turning 70. But here’s no test, no medical, just a declaration from yourself that, yep, I’m still an A1 wheelsmith.

The Daily Telegraph wades in

Barely a month goes by without a story in the papers about an elderly driver heading the wrong way up a motorway, or going for a short journey and ending up, a day later, miles from where they want to be.

By and large, these misadventures are portrayed as cartoon-like exploits, featuring a Daffy Granddad or Gaga Granny proceeding determinedly in the face of oncoming traffic, pursued by a posse of blue-light-flashing police cars, the officers in them shaking their heads at the lovable antics of these silly old septuagenarians.

For the most part, too, these wacky chases turn out to be comedy rather than tragedy: witness 80-year-old Alistair Fraser, who, in October last year, did a three-point turn and drove his Peugeot 207 the wrong way down the M876, in Scotland, with his wife and grandson in the back of the car. No one was hurt.

Daily Mail

The report, from the Parliamentary Advisory Committee for Transport Safety – Pacts – drew the distinction between drivers who were at risk and those who posed a risk to others – saying that older road users tended to be in the former group.

It added: ‘It is vital that the course providers are seen as a non-threatening organisation.

‘It is important that the tone of any such intervention is positive and supportive, avoiding undermining confidence or giving a negative image of growing older.’


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