GEM backs UK age concern

Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has welcomed the recommendations presented to government by the Older Drivers Task Force, which is helping to prepare the industry for more than a million UK drivers over the age of 85 by 2025.

However, GEM’s road safety officer Neil Worth says it’s important to ensure there is consistency across the UK in terms of an older person’s access to professional help and the quality of information available to them and their families.

Neil said, ‘GEM wants every driver to stay as safe as possible for as long as possible. We also need to be ready for any consequences of seeing more than one million drivers aged 85 and over on our roads by 2025. We support the Task Force’s recommendation to raise the driving licence renewal age from 70 to 75, as long as proof of an eyesight test is made compulsory.

‘There are many excellent resources available to assist older drivers, including our own popular stillsafetodrive.org.uk, but we need to ensure there is consistency in the help available to them. It’s vital that older drivers receive the same access to professional help, wherever in the UK they may live.

‘This could take the form of checks on their fitness to drive, advice on their style of driving, suitability of the vehicle they use and help with alternative modes of transport.

‘We wholeheartedly support any moves to remove the stigma or embarrassment felt by some drivers who realise their capabilities are changing in later life. We encourage all senior drivers to take responsibility for their own safety and to book regular driver appraisals. In the experience of our members, these are enjoyable and positive experiences that really motivate senior drivers to put safety first.’