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    (Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
    Not good enough, sorry. Why not 64 or 66? Why should anyone have anything to prove just because they've reached some multiple of 365 days? Maybe if there's reasonable grounds to suggest that someone's "brain function" is significantly impaired, then and only then should be ordered to prove it isn't.

    In any case, just because your brain's not "functioning" as well as it used to doesn't mean you suddenly forget how to drive. If "brain function" is the issue then why not have a "brain function" test rather than clogging up already full driving test centres?

    Why isn't the retirement age 64 or 66?


    It's not about forgetting how to drive, it's your ability to perceive and react to dangers on the road. A kid running out in front, somebody braking suddenly in front of you, etc etc.
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    (Original post by JohnC2211)
    Why isn't the retirement age 64 or 66?


    It's not about forgetting how to drive, it's your ability to perceive and react to dangers on the road. A kid running out in front, somebody braking suddenly in front of you, etc etc.
    It soon will be 66. Then 67, 68...
    The retirement age has never had anything to do with ones ability to work, but more to do with longevity.

    That still hasn't answered my question. Why is a road test necessary if it's a brain/perception issue?
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    (Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
    It soon will be 66. Then 67, 68...
    The retirement age has never had anything to do with ones ability to work, but more to do with longevity.

    That still hasn't answered my question. Why is a road test necessary if it's a brain/perception issue?

    Because reflexes aren't general in the way that testing your reactions by clicking a mouse on a computer won't mean you can slam your foot on the brakes in the event that you need to.
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    OLd people should stop driving after a certain age...
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    I think anyone over 70 should be retested annually.
    But then I also think anyone under 21 shouldn't be allowed to drive.
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    (Original post by JohnC2211)
    Because reflexes aren't general in the way that testing your reactions by clicking a mouse on a computer won't mean you can slam your foot on the brakes in the event that you need to.
    Let's pretend a retest is reasonable. I don't think it is, but let's imagine it is. What use will a normal-length driving test, let alone a limited one as you suggest should be the case, be at picking up all but the very very worst drivers? The pathetically small minority who can't brake in time are unlikely to be picked up in such a short test anyway, are they?

    Don't pretend there's not significant variation in reaction time before one reaches the magic age of 65 either.

    So either the test is excessive and unreasonable, as I believe it is, or it's basically pointless. I'm not convinced there's a reasonable middle ground, especially as you've rejected the idea of a reaction time test.
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    Wasn't there some 80 year old guy who managed to drive up steps and stuff onto a train station platform? And you never hear of 17-18 year olds driving the wrong way down motorways. Or into the sea for that matter
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    (Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
    That still hasn't answered my question. Why is a road test necessary if it's a brain/perception issue?
    It might be due to deteriorating eyesight, slowing reactions, reduced ability to make judgements quickly enough, or probably some combination of these (plus likely several more factors besides). Importantly, each alone is not enough to determine whether or not you are competent to drive; driving is a complicated activity which requires you to link your sensory perception with theoretical knowledge and past experience to make judgements. So if somebody's proficiency at driving needs to be retested, the only appropriate way to test these is to do so in context, i.e. as a practical driving test. The only exception to these is eyesight, which is considered sufficiently independent of the others (ability to read a numberplate at x metres is the official standard I think) that it can be dealt with entirely by an optometrist.

    Your argument that old drivers should only require (if anything) a "brain test" is basically saying that each of the skills in driving need only be tested separately. So, by this logic, once a learner driver has taken their theory and hazard perception the "practical" need only consist of a simple test round a car park to make sure they can operate the controls, as the theory and hazard perception have covered the rest!

    You also mention "clogging up already full driving test centres", but surely if re-test candidates were charged an appropriate fee for their test (say, if they were charged at cost price rather than the slightly ridiculous fees that learners are charged) then economics would suggest that more test centres would (re)open and more examiners would be trained to take care of the strain.

    Of course whether or not this is all necessary is a topic of some debate and something I'm not totally sure of my own opinion of! It's pretty obvious that some drivers as they get older lose some of their ability, particularly when it comes to things like judging junctions - many people who've been a passenger to an elderly relative will have noticed this. I don't think an arbitrary cut-off age is suitable - perhaps health professionals (doctors / optometrists) who spot problems could refer drivers for a re-test somehow? (And to make it "fair" the first re-test could be free with the examiner deciding whether or not they should be subject to regular (fee-paying) re-tests?)
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    (Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
    Let's pretend a retest is reasonable. I don't think it is, but let's imagine it is. What use will a normal-length driving test, let alone a limited one as you suggest should be the case, be at picking up all but the very very worst drivers? The pathetically small minority who can't brake in time are unlikely to be picked up in such a short test anyway, are they?
    Yes, but you're going to have the same problem in your initial driving test too. Though it probably varies depending on exactly at which centre you take it, but these on their own can be pretty strict!
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    (Original post by AnythingButChardonnay)
    Let's pretend a retest is reasonable. I don't think it is, but let's imagine it is. What use will a normal-length driving test, let alone a limited one as you suggest should be the case, be at picking up all but the very very worst drivers? The pathetically small minority who can't brake in time are unlikely to be picked up in such a short test anyway, are they?

    Don't pretend there's not significant variation in reaction time before one reaches the magic age of 65 either.

    So either the test is excessive and unreasonable, as I believe it is, or it's basically pointless. I'm not convinced there's a reasonable middle ground, especially as you've rejected the idea of a reaction time test.

    I'm not a computer engineer. Buy a gaming driving wheel and pedals and run a computer simulation where a boy throws himself in front of the car and you have to brake? I don't know.


    I'm not implying that there is not a significant variation in reaction time before one reaches the magic 65, but there is a general decline in our reactions as we get older.


    We could just forbid over 65s from driving, but that would cause too many problems. Old people cause accidents as well, but yet it's young people who get all the stigma for being bad drivers, which is simply not fair.


    We could never test for all the things that old people do which are dangerous (driving 30mph in a 60mph limit in good conditions, assuming they're better than everyone else because they have experience, falling asleep, etc), but as you said, if we get the very very worst drivers off the roads then that is better than nothing.


    I'm sure you wouldn't put a price on such tests if it was someone you knew who was injured because an old biddy went into the back of them at a junction.
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    They should from driving after the age of 70, all they do is congest the roads with their tosh driving and embaressing manouvres, I pity the poor old farts. Not.
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    Insurance statistics and therefore premiums would suggest that there is really not an issue with older drivers.

    As a generality I would say that a large number of them have much more regard for keeping their distance from the car in front and therefore the somewhat more aggressive driver ,seeing the large space in front of the car in front, perceives that it is not keeping up with the flow, overtakes and cuts the braking distance causing the more cautious driver to reduce speed to restore the gap.

    Bear in mind that everyone now young will eventually themselves be older (If they do not kill themselves whilst young) Do you all fancy possibly losing your mobility at some arbitrary age?

    My father is now 83, he still drives, has had three accidents in 65 years of driving, none of them his fault and none of them in the last 20 years. Yes he is a little slower than 25 years ago but he is safe. (And whilst brain function re reactions will obviously be reduced, he still can manage to finish the Times crossword most days)

    Maybe it would be fairer to force retests on those who have a history of accidents.
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    (Original post by JohnC2211)
    I'm not a computer engineer. Buy a gaming driving wheel and pedals and run a computer simulation where a boy throws himself in front of the car and you have to brake? I don't know.
    Well if it's reaction times that need measuring, I'd suggest that would be rather more effective than a 30 minute drive around (possibly) completely empty roads!! But then a ruler and a stopwatch would be better than that.


    I'm not implying that there is not a significant variation in reaction time before one reaches the magic 65, but there is a general decline in our reactions as we get older.
    Good. And yes there is. 65 still doesn't wash it with me - it should at least be higher than retirement age.

    We could just forbid over 65s from driving, but that would cause too many problems. Old people cause accidents as well, but yet it's young people who get all the stigma for being bad drivers, which is simply not fair.


    We could never test for all the things that old people do which are dangerous (driving 30mph in a 60mph limit in good conditions, assuming they're better than everyone else because they have experience, falling asleep, etc), but as you said, if we get the very very worst drivers off the roads then that is better than nothing.


    I'm sure you wouldn't put a price on such tests if it was someone you knew who was injured because an old biddy went into the back of them at a junction.
    We could - but I'm sure you'd accept that was unreasonable. You're never going to get all unsafe drivers off the road.

    Put it this way, there's a fantastic safety reason for reintroducing a 2mph in-city speed limit and a man with a red flag walking in front. You'd probably cut accidents by 95% (unfortunately nothing could be done about horses and rogue cyclists). But that is an unreasonable compromise between safety and liberty.

    I consider re-testing everyone just because they're reached an arbitrary age, even though their co-ordination and reaction times could be twice as good as a younger drive, unreasonable. Getting a few bad drivers off the road isn't a magic bullet argument for inconviniencing hundreds of thousands of people, or else where do you draw the line in the name of safety? (see point above)

    DJKL's suggestion of retesting only those with a history is a much better, fairer, more reasonable idea.
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    Bad driving is usually down to bad attitudes. More under 25's are involved in accidents because they are more reckless.

    Its also worth noting that you don't need to have lightening fast reactions to be a safe driver. If you plan ahead and look what other people are doing ahead of time, then you rarely need to react quickly.

    Having said that, some elderly people really are a menace. The reason they don't show up in the stats for accidents is because they contribute to the cause, then drive off!

    Example: Young driver (lets say 19 years old) emerges onto a roundabout turning right..... elderly driver drives out slowly (totally oblivious) in front of the young driver causing the young driver to brake hard.

    A Car runs into the back of the young driver... elderly driver just continues at 15 mph and drives away from the scene of the accident, leaving the other two drivers to exchange insurance details. I've seen that scenario many times while driving around greater London.

    Question is who is at fault in that accident? Just the elderly driver? The young driver for not noticing that the elderly driver was not slowing down? The guy behind the young driver for driving too close?

    Truth is, there is error on everyone's part. The main culprit is the elderly driver because they failed to give way.
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    (Original post by Emma:-))
    I think there may have been a thread on this a while back- but oh well.
    But anyway- quite a few people seem to think that young drivers are bad drivers/boy racers and all that. But older drivers can be just as bad at times.
    What does everyone else think? Has anyone had any particular experiences with older drivers?
    An older driver who was a kid you not about 80+ and didnt realise where or what he had done crashed staright into the back of our car when we were waiting for traffic lights. I'll never forget that car crash......he should not have been on the road and allowed to drive plain and simple.
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    There was one old guy who was driving at 40 in a 60mph zone then it went down to 30mph, he stuck at 40mph.
 
 
 
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