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Ban older drivers, says poll

24 July 2006

  • Drivers want older motorists banned at peak times
  • Half feel that older motorists cause accidents
  • Driver's feelings aren't backed by statistics, say experts

Elderly drivers are perceived to be dangerous - but the stats don't back this up

Almost half of motorists believe that banning elderly drivers during peak periods would relieve congestion.

That's the finding of a survey by insurance broker www.motorinsurance.co.uk. Almost half of the 300 drivers who took part in the poll believe that elderly people are to blame for congestion.

Almost two-thirds believe that older motorists cannot cope with modern road conditions, and 49% believe that their perceived slow and erratic driving causes accidents.

However, according to www.motorinsurance.co.uk's managing director, Paul Cosh, the statistics don't back up drivers' beliefs. 'The views simply do not stand up against the facts.

'To suggest that older drivers are a danger on the roads is a statistically unfounded stereotype.'

That's a view backed up by Help the Aged policy manager David Sinclair: 'These findings highlight blatant discrimination towards older drivers. The evidence of competence in relation to age doesn't back up the assertions made.

'Older drivers are not inevitably either bad or good drivers, and it is ability and capability, not a person's age, that should be used to assess suitability to drive safely.'

Just over 50% of drivers in a whatcar.com poll in November last year felt that drivers over 70 should retake their driving test.

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