According to records held by the DVLA there are three drivers aged 100 years old who remain driving on the roads despite having committed a motoring offence in their late nineties. As the driving test was introduced in 1935 it does seem that these centurion motorists probably never took a test.
Motorists have to renew their licence at 70 and again every three years after that. They are not subject to a medical examination although their doctor is obliged to inform the DVLA if they believe a patient should give up driving.
The DVLA examined its records in December in response to a freedom of information request and discovered that there are 2,593 drivers aged 90 and above with penalty points on their licence. It is unclear what these drivers did to earn penalty points or how many each of them hold, the fact that they are still motoring questions whether there should be an age limit. The Institute of Advanced Motorists called for a new class of licence which would see frail elderly motorists banned from motorways and the fastest dual carriageways, while still allowing them to drive elsewhere. There have also been calls from motoring groups for road signs to have bigger lettering to cope with Britain’s ageing motoring population, even though statistics show that drivers born before the war are among the safest on the road.
Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said “older drivers are not necessarily less safe drivers, their frailty makes them more at risk; their driving does not make them a risk to others. That said, I think it is really important to consider some kind of driving assessment for older drivers involved in crashes or incidents resulting in penalty points.”