Over-70s drivers under the spotlight again

We hear a lot about elderly drivers and cracking down on elderly drivers, and now we’re about to hear a

We hear a lot about elderly drivers and cracking down on elderly drivers, and now we’re about to hear a lot more of it.

If you’ve over the age of 70, live in New South Wales and still drive, then there could be some changes coming your way.

The New South Wales Parliamentary committee for road safety is launching an inquiry into driver training for drivers of all ages.

But, as part of that inquiry, there will be a review of the system that allows your GP to access whether you should be driving or not.

Read more: When it’s time to have the talk with older drivers

So, why are elderly drivers being looked at here?

Well, it turns out more drivers over the age of 70 were killed on New South Wales roads in the past year than any other age group – yes, that’s right, more older people than young hoons.

64 people aged 70 or older have been killed since November, while 39 people aged between 60 and 69 were killed.

That means almost a third of crash deaths in the state were people aged over 60.

That’s not to say it was older drivers’ fault every time though.

Read more: How do you feel about S plates for senior drivers?

MP Greg Aplin told the Daily Telegraph he didn’t want the focus to be just about elderly drivers, but the GP assessment needed a review.

“We’re talking about people returning to driving or ageing drivers who still want that independence and are still passing a medical, but who has the responsibility of assessing their licence?” he said.

“The role currently sits with a doctor and that’s usual your own GP and you can imagine the relationship there that could be jeopardised.

“I’m sure there’s a bit of subjectivity from the GP, but let’s look at other ways where you relieve the GP of that difficult decision.”

So, where do you stand on this?

We all complain about the young hoons that race past us doing well over 100km an hour, and we hear about how they have restrictions while they’re on their L and P plates.

Do you think it’s only fair that people over 70 are looked at? Or should there be more focus on the younger, inexperienced drivers?


  1. I am 72 and still drive I live 5 kilometres out of a small country town. I pride myself on the fact that I have never been booked, only had two small accidents one where a car ran up the back of me and the second I was turning into Westmead hospital and a truck hit me.
    I have been driving since I was 17 years old, I am careful and do not speed I usually travel around 80 to 85. So I would be annoyed having to sit a test or have an S plate placed on my car.What does an S plate do to prevent an accident? It should first be checked if the over 70’s were actually at fault or not.

    • TC  

      The fact that you “usually travel around 80 to 85” is a big issue. When ageing stops you (from either fear, poor eyesight, or slower reflexes) from driving at a legal speed, then you shouldn’t be on the roads anymore. Travelling 20km below the speed limit (unless the weather is terrible) is illegal and termed “failure to make headway” because it causes other motorists to have to slow down and try to overtake. Had you said “I always drive within 5km of the speed limit” you would be a much safer driver. Speed limits are very carefully planned to ensure maximum efficiency and safety on the roads. People who ignore them and who are unable to “drive at a safe and legal speed” should not be driving.You may not have a particular schedule to meet when you are on your way to the shops, but the majority of drivers on the road are just trying to get to work on time, collect or drop off children, or are driving for their employment and have quotas or deadlines to meet. i always try to leave plenty of time to get anywhere I’m going, but there’s nothing worse than being stuck behind someone driving 20km/h below the speed limit.

  2. Graeme  

    As Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wrote:
    Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill
    Ain’t too much that we won’t do what Waylon won’t Willie will
    Even though we’ve spent our lives charging up the wrong side of the hill
    Old age and treachery always overcomes youth and skill

    Maybe Over sixties people could come up with some text to make up Bumper Stickers with appropriate words to go with the S label.

  3. Guy Flavell  

    Yeah, the over 70s drivers should be looked at more seriously. Perhaps a three year license with
    a medical report from a GP required for renewal? Over 70s drivers should remember their
    eyesight, hearing and reflexes may no longer be up to scratch when it comes to emergency
    situations on the road.

    • Paul_Seymour-584df4cbca4d6  

      Most over 70 drivers are responsible careing people I think that you should look at the drivers between 17-35 they might not have the accidents but due to the reckless driving they cause them

  4. Wynner  

    In NZ older drivers have to sit a test as well as get a medical. It seems to work. My 90 year old father recently got his renewed – mind you he only drive a few kilometres from home to go to the supermarket and other shops and church and not on the highways any longer.

  5. Denis  

    Maybe is because there is more of us at that age group?

  6. Arthur  

    their calculations dont add up. 60 to 69 is only 9 years as against 70 plus which could be up to 30 years in which an accident can happen.Not a fair cmparison!

  7. Pamela  

    Don’t these figures include seniors who were passengers and pedestrians (according to NRMA)

  8. Pamela  

    Don’t these figures include seniors who were passengers and pedestrians (according to NRMA)

  9. Bruce McCoughtry  

    If senior drivers should have an S plate then female drivers should have an F plate, Asian drivers should have an A plate and most of all the idiots driving on the road should have a very large I plate. None of these are any more discriminatory than a senior plate for over70 drivers. I am 73 years of age, still regularly drive a bus doing my volunteer work and am a very careful and conscientious driver. I can recognise a lot of much younger drivers of both genders who definitely should not be allowed behind a steering wheel.

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