UK Drivers over certain age could face 'mandatory' fitness test after DVLA update

The DVLA recorded over 40 million people with a licence in the UK last year, according to figures.
The DVLA recorded over 40 million people with a licence in the UK last year, according to figures. -Credit:No credit

Following an update from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), there are growing calls for 'mandatory' fitness tests for older drivers. Last year, the DVLA recorded more than 40 million licenced drivers in the UK which indicates a rise in elderly drivers on the roads.

The proportion of people aged 70 or above with a full driving licence has soared from 45% in 2002 to 73% in 2022.CEO of LeaseLoco, John Wilmot declared: "The number of qualified drivers on UK roads has reached record levels, showing that travelling by car continues to be the main and most convenient form of transport, particularly for older people."

He further added: "Having a car also allows many older people to feel socially connected. That's especially true in more rural areas, where public transport can be unreliable."

Furthermore, RAC Foundation's director, Steve Gooding has shared his views on this situation, reports Birmingham Live.

Mr Gooding from RAC, a foundation assisting with breakdowns countrywide, remarked: "Active motorists aged over 80 tend to be very aware of their abilities and self-regulate their driving avoiding, for example, driving at night or in the rush hour."

"The challenge is that as we age our bodies become more frail, so older people caught up in collisions tend to suffer worse injuries something car designers should have at the front of their mind."

The expert continued: "One thing that would allow all drivers not just those at an arbitrary old age to help judge their fitness to drive would be compulsory eye tests when licences are renewed."

A survey asked if drivers aged 70 and over should undergo mandatory health and fitness checks to retain their licence. Astonishingly, 77% of a popular UK newspaper's audience agreed.

Even among respondents aged 70+, almost two-thirds expressed support for such tests.

As it stands, drivers over 70 must renew their driver's licence every three years, but no mandatory health or fitness tests are required.