Brake concerned about suggestion of raising licence renewal age

3 March 2014

Brake, the road safety charity

In response to reports the Department for Transport may consider increasing the age at which drivers must renew their licence from 70 to 80, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:

"It is concerning the Department for Transport is considering raising the age for licence renewal: regulation that's in place for good reason. At this age, conditions that can significantly impair your ability to drive safely become much more common, so it's essential we have robust procedures to ensure older drivers are not inadvertently putting themselves and others in grave danger. Licence renewal prompts older drivers to check and self-certify they are fit to drive. Brake is calling on government to strengthen fitness to drive regulation to help prevent needless tragedies, such as through compulsory eyesight testing throughout your driving career and health checks for older drivers. Brake recommends older drivers visit their GP and have sight and hearing tests at least annually – or sooner if they notice a problem – to ensure they are fit enough to continue driving and not unwillingly putting lives on the line when they get behind the wheel."

Read about Brake's Sharpen up campaign to ensure all drivers' eyesight is safe to drive.

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Tags: Department for Transport vision sharp driving licence eyesight campaign older drivers