Neighbour’s advice to get elderly driver off roads falls on deaf ears

Old lady driving a car
Should we be forced to hand in our driving licence when we reach a certain age? Source: Pexels

Does there come a point in time where older drivers should lose their licence? A concerned neighbour has asked The Washington Post’s advice column for tips after noticing the old lady next door may not be as safe on the roads as she thinks.

Writing in to the Ask Amy column, the unidentified person suggested that while the 94-year-old lady who lives next door is nice and sweet, she probably shouldn’t be driving at her age. They suggested that the lady in question nearly hit their house after driving onto their lawn a few months earlier.

While the lady wasn’t injured, her mini accident caused significant damage to the person’s lawn. They were thankful that the incident wasn’t worse than it was, but wanted to warn the lady’s family of her dangerous driving behaviour.

The person advised the lady’s son of what happened and told him that they didn’t believe his mother was safe on the roads. “I recommended that she not drive anymore, and he grew very defensive and said that was her decision, not ours,” the neighbour said. “He said that she needs to be able to drive herself to run errands and to go to doctor’s appointments, and that he lives too far to be able to drive her around daily.”

They added that they feared for the safety of their children and that the lady even backed into her own letter box, but they couldn’t find it in their heart to notify the police of her behaviour.

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Amy’s advice was that the neighbour needs to notify the right people about the lady’s driving habits. She said that if the Department of Motor Vehicles in the town was doing their job properly, they would follow through with the driver. “Understand that you are not only saving your children (and others) who might be injured, but you are also doing this out of concern for her safety,” she suggested.

Starts at 60 recently asked readers if they thought people should lose their driving licence automatically when they reach a certain age. In Australia, 50 per cent of drivers in the state of Victoria believe a licence should be taken off someone when they reach a certain age. Statistics actually show that in most cases, it is older drivers who are safer on the roads.

One reader said: “I’m 65 and I think sometime in the next 10 years will probably give up driving just going on family experience. Quite frankly P players worry me more than elderly drivers”. Another added: “It’s not just age. There are plenty drivers on the road who should be taken off – drinkers, drug takers, distracted parents, hoons of all ages, texters. I am all in favour of medical checks as we get older, including testing of reflexes, but you cannot just set an age to stop driving”.

A further comment read: “I am 61 years old and can drive better than most people on the road. I have never ever had an accident. I do not drive slow or too fast. I know my road rules well. I believe if u are a bad driver u are bad driver no matter your age [sic]”.

What do you think? Should there be a cut-off point when it comes to people losing their licence? Should the lady in this story be forced to quit driving?