Nearly two thirds of MPs want to force older motorists to retake driving tests

MPs support compulsory retests for older drivers by a large majority (Getty Images)

Two thirds of MPs support forcing motorists to retake their driving test when they reach a certain age, Yahoo News UK can reveal.

According to an exclusive poll of MPs conducted by YouGov, 63% of all parliamentarians think there should be mandatory retests when drivers reach a certain age.

Of the MPs who want to introduce mandatory retests, the most popular age selected was 75.

Currently drivers in the UK have to renew their licence when they turn 70, but they are not required to retake a test.

Motorists are required to tell the DVLA if they have any health conditions that could affect their driving and they only have to self-certify that their eyesight is good enough to drive.

63% of MPs are in favour of forcing motorists to take their tests again when they reach a certain age (YouGov)

Despite this, older drivers are significantly more likely to die if involved in a crash.

According to the Government’s Older Driver Taskforce report in 2015, older drivers are up to four times as likely to die or be seriously injured.

The report found that for every mile travelled, the risk of a motorist aged 80 or more being killed while driving is, overall, some 10 times higher than the lowest risk - 40-49 year old.

In October 2018 an elderly couple were both killed after driving their caravan the wrong way down the M40 motorway.

John Norton, 80, and 87-year-old Olive Howard's vehicle collided with a Ford Mondeo and a Ford Focus, killing the 32-year-old driver of the Mondeo, Stuart Richards.

In 2017 Ben Brooks-Dutton started a campaign to make retesting driver over 70 compulsory after his wife Desreen was killed by an older driver.

The 82-year-old motorist hit the mother-of-one after mistaking the accelerator for the brake.

Desreen Brooks-Dutton was killed by an elderly driver (Change.org)

His petition on Change.org amassed more than a quarter of a million signatures, but failed to become legislation.

In the poll, Conservatives were slightly more likely than Labour politicians to back retests, with 69% supporting the idea compared to 58%.

26% of MPs disagreed with the idea and a further 11% said they didn’t know.

Michael Pace, specialist motoring solicitor at Andrew & Co, argues that compulsory tests and training should take place throughout drivers’ lives rather than waiting until people are in their 70s.

He told Yahoo News UK: “In my opinion we should be tested at a much younger age than 75 then retested again every 10 years.

“At the moment you take your test at 17 and you’ve got a license until 70 and it’s then renewed on your own say so.

“We’ve got to get to a situation where we are retested in some form or another."

Rebecca Ashton, head of policy and research at road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, said continuous training for drivers would improve road safety more than forcing older drivers to reset tests.

"I don't think that compulsory tests is the best way forward right now,” she said.

“I don't see why when we pass our test at 17, that should be it as far as our advancement in driving goes. The test says that we are safe to be on the road but it doesn't say that we are at a particularly good or high standard."