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AA Endorses Licensing Changes For Elderly

June 10 2002

Proposed changes to licensing for older drivers are being welcomed by the Automobile Association.

“We have been saying for some time that a conditional licence that allows older drivers to remain mobile in residential areas but not exposing them to the risks and pressures of open road driving is essential,” says AA Public Affairs Director George Fairbairn.

Mr Fairbairn said the existing system for re-licensing of elderly drivers had proved a significant hurdle for many elderly drivers who do not want to drive on the open road. By making the licence conditional in the manner now proposed older drivers did not need to lose mobility altogether simply because they could no longer cope with highway driving.

LTSA travel surveys show that half of all trips undertaken by drivers over 65 are for social purposes. Losing a licence can therefore have enormous social and mental health consequences for older people.

Mr Fairbairn was also positive about the proposed option of being able to book practical driving tests over the phone.

“It does seem somewhat unnecessary in this day and age that you have to show up to a counter to book a test when you should be able to just call and make a time and confirm payment by credit card as is now proposed” he said.

It is recognised that the required amendments to this Rule will not be implemented for some months.


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