Grrr! Police make controversial calls for seniors to get off the roads

An increase in the number of seniors killed by traffic accidents has prompted police to tell older drivers to stay

An increase in the number of seniors killed by traffic accidents has prompted police to tell older drivers to stay off the road. These controversial comments follow a 20% increase in the deaths of drivers aged over 70 years.

Assistant Commissioner John Hartley said that older drivers in New South Wales are putting themselves at greater risk. He said drivers aged over 70 are two-and-a-half times more likely to be killed in a road accident, or to injure other drivers.

“It is these issues that put older drivers, their passengers, and other road users at great risk”, the head of state traffic police said.

“Personal responsibility is the key to keeping us all safe on NSW roads”, Hartley added. “Don’t wait until you’re involved in a near miss, or a crash, to reconsider your driving ability”.

Drivers aged over 75 are already required to take annual medical checks, whilst drivers over 85 must pass practical examines every two years. However, these latest comments have been described as insulting by older drivers.

The Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association claimed that older drivers are more likely to be endangered on the roads because they are frail, not because their driving skills are impaired.

“It’s really saying: ‘You’re old, get off the road. Why police want people getting close to 65 to get off the road is not clear”, said spokesman Paul Versteege.

Meanwhile, an online poll revealed that 73% of Australians do not agree that drivers aged over 70 should stay off the roads. The Nine News poll surveyed over 13,000 people.

Are you offended that police have told older drivers to get off the road? Do you believe that seniors are a danger to other motorists?

  1. Irene  

    Good one – they want us off the roads but want us to work until we drop – can’t quite believe this came out of the mouth of NSW’s top policemen – I’m 73 almost 74 years old and believe I can drive carefully and to the road rules which is much more than most young people do today – I can’t count how many times I have been doing the speed limit and been passed by some young person doing way above – and they say I’m dangerous – do tell!!

  2. Pete  

    I am 74 and I will go head to head with the bloke that made the disparaging comments about drivers over seventy in any driving test he would like to nominate.
    I have been driving for the past 55 years including spells in Spain,Germany and the U.K. And have never had an accident.
    Seeing the tricks of the much younger driving generation on the roads of today beggars belief.
    The statistics are obviously correct but have not been expanded to include the causes of the incidents.

  3. Probably because of over 70s sticking to the rules and speed limits, others try passing them at inappropriate times.

  4. Annoyed  

    Well How I am I supposed to get to work given they want to curb older people driving. You cant say people have to work until they are older and then on the other hand say they can’t drive!! Rocks in their heads.

    • Diane  

      HA very good point . that’s a Shot in the foot to the Politicians.

  5. Helen Miles  

    Hmmmm! Nothing said abt the impatience and rudeness of younger drivers who think they are entitled to everything they want, including the roads? I drive 700km one way quite often. And Truck drivers and young people are the most impatient. Also whoever made this statement will be old one day…if he’s lucky!.

  6. Heather A  

    How many accidents involving older people result from them stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake. Put ’em in a manual car and that won’t happen. Automatic cars are a curse for oldies. If you can’t drive a manual, you shouldn’t be driving.

  7. I think after you get the drugged, drunk and disqualified drivers off the road then you can start on the over 70s.

    • Peggy Shelton  

      Helen Gibson you’re so right. The drunks, the druggies and the disqualified drivers are the real menaces on the road. Wasn’t it 25% of the drivers pulled up by the Police over Xmas in those categories. You only have to watch TV programs like Highway Patrol to see what some people are like on the roads. One young man tonight was unlicensed, had no ID on him, couldn’t remember his own address, and had stolen number plates on the car. In fact I think the car was stolen. He’s went to gaol. Haven’t seen any elderly people on that show.

  8. Jean McGuinn  

    This should apply to any driver who hasn’t taken a British or up to date driving test and males under the age of 25! Anyone this doesn’t apply to and is over the age of 65 would be the best and safest drivers, but would agree to annual check ups over the age of 70. Plus… All drivers should be qualified to drive manual as well as automatic cars!

  9. Angie B  

    Older people are no worse than anyone else on the roads. What about drunks, druggies and texters? We are all human and can make mistakes. I am 68, have had a licence since Noah was a boy, and never had an accident.

  10. Ursula Sorensen  

    This is just another way to make us irrelevant in society. It seems to be all about being young and yet it’s young people that have the most accidents and do the most foolhardy things on the roads.

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