The controversial new plan to show other drivers you’re a senior

More and more seniors are dying on the roads, but do they really need to be pointed out to other

More and more seniors are dying on the roads, but do they really need to be pointed out to other drivers as a potential risk?

This is an idea put forward to tackle the road toll by one of Australia’s biggest insurers, QBE. They are calling for “S-plates” for seniors — similar to learner and probationary licences — to gradually restrict movements of elderly motorists, reports the Herald Sun.

50 people aged between 49 and 85 died between 2013 and 2014 with their foot still on the pedal.

According to forensic expert Associate Prof­essor Morris Odell, the sudden deaths were likely due to medical conditions as they often occurred at low speed in residential areas, he told News Corp.

In Victoria, drivers aged 75 and over must renew their licences every three years, and motorists of all ages must report medical conditions that can affect their driving, however QBE believes an opt-in ‘S1’ and ‘S2’ system could override the current rules in place.

QBE is calling for an opt-in “S1, S2” system in which seniors would obtain scores obtained from black box-style devices in their cars.

Company spokesman Frank Peppard said drivers would obtain scores from a black-box style device in their cars, and submit these scores to VicRoads, rather than have medical tests and driving exams.

“This will save lives,” he told the Herald Sun.

“Older people should not fear this. It’s to offer them greater options to retain ­mobility while providing a safety net for the community.”

VicRoads said, “We encourage family members to have the conversation with older relatives about their ability to drive if they have concerns”.
We want to know your thoughts today: Would you feel comfortable wearing ‘S’ plates to show you’re a senior? Do you think some people could benefit from it?


  1. Lyn  

    A black b

    • kay  

      To what purpose and what logical way is this going to stop ANYONE from dying on the road. Its just the insurance co. Wanting to raise insurance costs to older drivers or tell customers they are too high risk to insure. Its always about the MONEY.

  2. Dianne Clarke  

    Mmmm so we could have plates as follows: Ï” for Idiot: “H” for Hoon: “D” for Drunk/Drugs: “Dis” for Disqualified: “T” for Teen: and the list could go on. We would be so busy looking at all the different plates and trying to remember what they stood for – there would be twice as many accidents. As you have to sit a test after the age of 70 anyway why would we have to advertise the fact or are they going to do if after 49 now?

  3. Lyn  

    This is a scant report. Are the 50 senior deaths a State or National figure. What is the % compared to 18 to 45 year olds deaths if you are taking portions of the road toll. What about privacy. Age is a personal matter and many like to keep this private. Medications does not relate purely to age. Yes, we could have “M” plates for all medication users, and we could also have “A: for anyone who has a a glass of wine on a daily basis, the same as medication. What plate would be use for people who are unaware of a condition and it erupts whilst driving at any age. I know of a young man very recently, an elite sportsman who passed away last week with a heart attack. He had a condition that had not been detected. They are my questions and now….
    I could live with a small black box in the boot, but I do hope the insurer is paying for this, plus the installation. Many seniors are pensioners and you cannot dump even more stress on them. But then would insurer just hike up the premiums again? I have not even started with discimination. Lyn

  4. Dianne Evans  

    How about we just find more and more ways to separate everyone how can the government be telling us to work if we are no longer safe too drive! I want the plates to say speeder for all the peopke who get repeater fines and drug user for anyone ever caught drug driving and drinker for anyone ever fined for drink driving ect ect ect!

  5. Penny  

    I would only agree if they go further and put “F” female “M” for male “-20” for under 20’s and so on. This kind of “labeling would make seniors vulnerable to a lot of other types of harassment. The highest number of road accidents occurs in the 20 to 25 age group so why target seniors.

    • don’t forget the d for druggy, dr for drunk, t for texter, p for phone user. Age has nothing to do with driving ability, ego and impatience does the most damage

  6. No showing you are a senior would simply encourage the bullies of the road to have some fun at seniors expense. Doctors should be held accountable for allowing many seniors to drive. It would be better to find an alternative measure of capability rather than the family doctor. My dad gave up driving but my mum refuses to. I will not get in the car with her and she knows my view on her driving but I cannot force her to give it up, she is 83. Many people who live in my area (country town) are restricted to driving in our area only. While I dont like this practice, at least the rest of us are aware of it and give certain drivers a wide berth and dont park next to them. The loss of independence is the primary issue why people continue to drive when they know they should have stopped. This is the issue that needs to be addressed.

  7. don  

    what a stupid idea certain irresponsible young ones would buzz us and cause worse drama

  8. Lourens  

    All these corporation who want to further curb our individual freedoms and absolute right to privacy can go and get stuffed!
    And that goes double for government too, but then again governments are nothing more than corporations with the power to coerce people into using their services whether they want to or not …

  9. Bente  

    I am only 67 and stopped driving two years ago, to manny stupid people on the road, never had an accident, but I don,t need anyone to label me!

  10. So soon after newspaper reports that older people should vacate their homes so younger families can have them we now have QBE Insurance suggesting not only S (Senior) plates but the use of technology to place time and geographical restrictions on driving for over 49’s. First and foremost I question their statistics which are reported to support their view and I note the absence of any reasonable benchmark. Secondly I can only wonder how we 50 to 67 year olds are to transport ourselves to work if it comes to pass that we can only drive (implied) outside of peak hour in our local area. (QBE has proposed the use of technology to impose time and geographical limitations of older people’s driving.) I do not believe any of the measures sugested by QBE will have a favourable affect on road toll but rather are a precursor to substantial price increases in motor vehicle insurance premiums for people in the over 49’s age group. We live in a society that legislates against discrimination but despite that, agesim appears to be taking on a momentum of its own. These QBE proposals come hot on the heels of reports that real estate – homes with nice yards – are becoming scarce because we older people are continuing to live in our homes instead of downsizing. It is hard not to be concerned about our future in society that would hunt us out of homes we have laboured for and cherished and attach technology to our cars to restrict our movements.I feel like I’m re-reading George Orwell’s 1984; I fear Big Brother is walking down the path and if we do nothing, may soon be knocking on our door. For the record I will be 58 this month; I am an alert, active and productive member of the community and hope to be for decades yet.

  11. Nin  

    How is this going to stop people having, say, a heart attack at the wheel. They should be worrying more about drink and drug drivers. No one plans to have a stroke or heart attack while they’re driving … but plenty of people plan to drive while they are intoxicated.

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