Support for over 70s mandatory driver re-testing has grown
by Helen Jackson |
posted 04 February 2019
Perhaps, unsurprisingly, public support for regular mandatory driver re-testing shot up in the days following the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent car crash, new research shows. Drivers themselves are backing a change in the law, which would force every motorist to retake their test, either at set intervals or in old age, in order to keep their licence.
Two in three motorists now support the idea of compulsory driving re-tests. A majority suggest that they should take place once licence-holders are 70 or over, according to new survey results.
The policy has been growing in favour for some time, with just over half of drivers backing re-tests in the first half of January, but support surged after 97-year-old Prince Philip’s Land Rover crashed into another car and overturned.
The findings emerged in research by the online motor retail specialist, BuyaCar.co.uk, which began canvassing opinion on mandatory re-testing before the incident. The sudden marked shift in public opinion also revealed a belief that it’s not just elderly drivers who could benefit: three in five respondents thought that every motorist should be tested every ten years - a higher proportion than before the crash.
However, a majority believed that this should be linked to age, with opinion fairly evenly split on a range of options between the ages of 70 and 90.
The survey asked 400 people ‘Do you think that drivers should have to re-take their driving test?’ and – if so – when? Before the Royal crash, a small majority of 53% said drivers should be re-tested. Since the crash, this increased to 66%. In both cases, the most common timescale suggested was every ten years, but a majority of drivers believe that it should be linked to age.
Austin Collins, Managing Director of BuyaCar.co.uk, said:
“Our findings suggest that policy makers could come under pressure now, from public opinion, to revisit the idea of routinely re-testing drivers. And that could mean the Duke of Edinburgh’s accident ultimately leading to an improvement in road safety.”
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