New tests too tough?

As my father aged my brother and I became increasingly concerned about his driving.

I raised it with my mother who quoted a friend of hers who had told her, “It takes both of us to drive these days.”

Knowing Dad was due to sit a driving test I rang the police and explained why we were concerned. The officer told me to let Dad’s GP know because failing a medical was often a kinder way to let an elderly person lose their licence than failing a test. But if he passed the medical I should phone again so the testing officer could be aware of our concerns.

I spoke to the GP who said he would keep that in mind but he was away when Dad went for the medical. The locum passed him and he’d sat and passed the driving test before I’d found out.

He then had three accidents over a period of a few weeks – fortunately without injuring anyone – and after the third voluntarily handed in his licence.

The driving test has been toughened since then and older drivers are finding it particularly difficult.

Does that mean it’s too tough?

Instant failure for forgetting to indicate does seem a bit harsh.

But while it’s easy for me to say when I’ve got decades to go before I’ll have to worry about sitting another test, the experience with my father, and some other elderly drivers, makes me think tougher tests than used to be the norm isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

3 Responses to New tests too tough?

  1. The insurance company medical bounced my mum, even though she had passed her test, so she doesn’t drive. She did the old test, so I can’t say whether she’d have passed the new one, but I think it is an indication that the old test was too lenient.


  2. JC says:

    The big issue we have to face is people are living longer and with it age related diseases like Alzheimers (and in my case, Blenheimers).

    So a tougher driving test seems not unreasonable.



  3. pdm says:

    Earlier this afternoon I saw an example of what you are referring to. An elederly, late 70’s I would guess, backed out of a park stright into a vehickle which had stopped on the street right behind him. He appeared to not look at all – fortunately no harm was done in this case.


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