From: Mel Warren, Wellhead Close, Bramhope, Leeds.
I WRITE regarding the Government’s intention to enforce a driving capability test on elderly car drivers.
As someone who falls into this category, I fully support the proposals for its intentions (Jayne Dowle, Yorkshire Post, March 15).
I have held a driver’s licence for 60 years, and, during my working career I covered up to 30,000 miles per annum over a 40-year period. I was free of any major accident over the full period.
However, driving conditions have changed considerably, particularly over the last decade; driving now calls not only for the ability to control a vehicle, but also a sharp mind to manoeuvre it in increasingly heavy traffic through an abundance of lights and road signs.
There is little doubt that, with advancing years beyond 75, most people experience deterioration in reaction time to such requirements. However, it is also generally accepted that excessive speed is responsible for most fatal road accidents; an accusation which is rarely extended to the “grey fraternity”.
Elderly drivers generally need to drive slower and thus avoid this pitfall.
By doing this they find themselves momentarily holding up those who seem to be permanently in a hurry to get to their destination, with scant regard for other road users.
If these, and other drivers could identify an elderly driver, and make provision for their slowness, circumstances would be resolved for all concerned.
To aid identification, all that would be required would be a plate (similarly to an L plate) to be presented to the elderly and fitted to his/her vehicle after passing the aforementioned test.
Hopefully this would provide for a greater understanding and co-operation all round.