all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - barney100

Harriet Harmann is suggesting all drivers over 75 should have to visit a doctor to ascertain their ability to drive. I know lots of drivers well over that age who are perfectly good, fit as fiddles with keen minds and good reactions. My profession needs some of the quickest reactions of any needing to observe multiple things at the same time. As an older driver you must assess your driving all the time and strive to improve all aspects of it. Modern cars have too many dashboard distractions and many drivers spend too much time playing with switches and looking at screens, I now restrict my attention to the road ahead with a very quick look at my speedo to keep to limits.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Wackyracer

I remember my grandad having to visit a doctor to renew his licence years ago before the powers that be thought it was a good idea to let people just tick a few boxes (and lie) on the state of their health.

Lorry drivers have to visit a doctor for their medical every 5 years after 45years of age and rightly so.

I don't think it's about getting old drivers off the road, rather getting unsafe drivers off the road. The Cassie McCord case is one of the reasons we all need to be responsible about our health and ability to drive.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - galileo

Harriet Harmann is suggesting all drivers over 75 should have to visit a doctor to ascertain their ability to drive. I know lots of drivers well over that age who are perfectly good, fit as fiddles with keen minds and good reactions. My profession needs some of the quickest reactions of any needing to observe multiple things at the same time. As an older driver you must assess your driving all the time and strive to improve all aspects of it. Modern cars have too many dashboard distractions and many drivers spend too much time playing with switches and looking at screens, I now restrict my attention to the road ahead with a very quick look at my speedo to keep to limits.

Politicians are a fruitful source of half-baked ideas, not based on facts and not thought through.

Harriet Harman has a history of these daft suggetions.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - scot22

I think it is a very good suggestion. If you are not able to depend on people thinking of what is better for society then, sadly, it needs to be compulsory. It protects both the driver from either personal harm and/or having to live with causing it to someone else.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bromptonaut

Some background here:

www.harrietharman.org/older_drivers_should_have_gp...e

In brief, her interest arises because of an accident affecting one of her constituents. Seems to me to be an arguable case; self certication by older drivers is riddled with opportunity for self deception whether deliberate or not.

Drivers who are fit as fiddles etc shouldn't have anything to fear.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 03/09/2017 at 15:11

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - concrete

Hatty Harperson has yet again displayed her unerring knack for telling us all to do as she says, but not as she does, Demonstrated by her staggering hypocracy in promoting state education for all, then sending her precious bundles of joy to private schools. This and many other aspects of her complete ignorance of the everyday lives of her 'subjects', serve only to reinforce the idea of the detachment of politicians from their constituents. It would be interesting to see if she herself volunteers for any such driving test when she reaches 75. Unfortunately I have rather a lot of paint to watch dry first!!! Cheers Concrete

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bromptonaut

Hatty Harperson has yet again displayed her unerring knack for telling us all to do as she says, but not as she does, Demonstrated by her staggering hypocracy in promoting state education for all, then sending her precious bundles of joy to private schools.

Neither here nor there in relation to argument she's making now but both her sons went to state schools.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 03/09/2017 at 15:44

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - concrete

Hatty Harperson has yet again displayed her unerring knack for telling us all to do as she says, but not as she does, Demonstrated by her staggering hypocracy in promoting state education for all, then sending her precious bundles of joy to private schools.

Neither here nor there in relation to argument she's making now but both her sons went to state schools.

It is both here and there in relation to any argument if the person involved is economical with the truth. The majority of her childrens education was at private schools. A good friend of my son is a researcher in parliament and he confirms this. Her choice, but please don't then lecture the public on proberty.

As it happens I am in favour of any reasonable measures that improve the safety and hopefully the competency of drivers. But please keep politicians out of this. Ask the RAC or AA to apply their minds to a workable scheme. I am sure they could come up with one very quickly that is workable, effective and at modest cost.

Cheers Concrete

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bromptonaut

The majority of her childrens education was at private schools. A good friend of my son is a researcher in parliament and he confirms this

If he's that good at research can he tell us the names of the schools?

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - concrete

The majority of her childrens education was at private schools. A good friend of my son is a researcher in parliament and he confirms this

If he's that good at research can he tell us the names of the schools?

I would not dream of asking him to provide such information, especially for use on an open forum. I have known this young man very well for over 10 years and have no reason to believe that he would confirm something to me knowing it was untrue. I think we should leave this particular discussion right here. You believe what you wish and so will I so no harm done.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bromptonaut

You believe what you wish and so will I so no harm done.

It's not a matter of belief just simple fact. The story that her children were privately educated is either a mistake or a lie of the sort that got round the world while the truth was doing up it's laces.

One of her sons went to St Olave's and the other to Brompton Oratory. Both are state schools. Neither was her local comp so the choice generated enough contorversy for the facts to be easily determined.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Wackyracer

It would be interesting to see if she herself volunteers for any such driving test when she reaches 75. Unfortunately I have rather a lot of paint to watch dry first!!! Cheers Concrete

Nobody is saying there is going to be a driving test, it will simply be a doctors check up to see if your fit enough to drive rather than the self certification we have now.

Edited by Wackyracer on 03/09/2017 at 16:00

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - badbusdriver

I'm not sure having a driving test, allbeit a 'refresher' would be a bad idea. My mother in law is perfectly fit, but an appalling driver. To the point that neither myself nor my wife will willingly get her car. But she is not the kind of person that would take kindly to any hints or suggestions from us that maybe she should be thinking about handing in her license. If there was a compulsory refresher test or course, it would sort out those who actually are still capable drivers from those who simply think they are.

An example, just over a year ago, my Father had a mild stroke. One of the after effects of this was 'blind spots', area's in his field of vision in which he couldn't see. Now he had the sense during the intitial few weeks (before proper assessments were made) to realise that he definately should not be driving, so he didn't. But i remember him telling me that he knew for a fact that if the same thing had happened to his older brother, his brother would have just carried on driving till such times he was told to stop.

An alternative example is my wife's Granny (on her Mother's side!), who kept driving well after her eyesight had deteriorated to the point that she shouldn't have been doing so. She admits now that she should have stopped driving at least a year prior to when she did. Fortunately nothing happened, but how would she have felt if she had run over a child because she never saw them?.

Unfortunately, while i would like to think that most of us would take the sensible route of giving up driving like my Dad, i think there are too many who, like my Uncle, would take their chances and just carry on until the inevitable happened. So for that reason, i would be all in favour of some kind of compulsory testing.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - sandy56

Harriet Harman who is she?

A third rate politician who has never made any positive contribution to this country. She needs to retire before she is laughed out of parliament.

The big problem is the many stupid and dangerous drivers on our roads, age has little to do with it. The recent horrible accident involving trucks was due to drunk and dangerous drvivers. The trucking industry and government have been ignoring the problem for decades, and allowing dangerous people in charge of 44 tonne missiles, and accepting the annual death rate they cause.

I am not against a competence test for older drivers at say 75 years but what do we do about the many idiots on our roads?

Why do we allow people who are convicted of driving at over 100mph in a 30mph zone back on the road? The car should be conficated, a huge fine and a prison term, and no more driving.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Wackyracer

The recent horrible accident involving trucks was due to drunk and dangerous drvivers. The trucking industry and government have been ignoring the problem for decades, and allowing dangerous people in charge of 44 tonne missiles, and accepting the annual death rate they cause.

The Government and greedy businesses are responsible for the increase in the HGV accidents in the UK. They were quite happy to employ Eastern Europeans with fake licences and no HGV driving experience at all to do the job for half the wages of us UK tested, licenced and experienced HGV drivers. Then when it all went wrong they invent the driver CPC nonsense, another money making scam by the Government that does nothing other than to fill the pockets of training companies and themselves in taxes they gain from it all.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - gordonbennet

The Government and greedy businesses are responsible for the increase in the HGV accidents in the UK. They were quite happy to employ Eastern Europeans with fake licences and no HGV driving experience at all to do the job for half the wages of us UK tested, licenced and experienced HGV drivers. Then when it all went wrong they invent the driver CPC nonsense, another money making scam by the Government that does nothing other than to fill the pockets of training companies and themselves in taxes they gain from it all.

Absolutely right, and they the govt aided and abetted by their addicted to ever cheaper labour backers couldn't dumb the job down quickly enough in order to get lots of cheap bums on seats.

Well the chickens have come home to roost, and we haven't seen the bottom of the barrel by a long chalk yet, it's almost comical in its tragedy, and the platooning trials coming is just another attempt at cheap which is doomed to failure.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - barney100
Sandy 56 makes some excellent points.
all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - TedCrilly

The competent, confident and above all safe drivers of that age group should pass any test or assesemnt without issue so what is the problem exactly and why divert attention to other groups of road users?

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - John F

Brainless idea from a brainless politician - and perhaps an indication of OAP incipient dementia? Despite privileged London middle-class upbringing and education at top school (St Pauls), Harriet went to the distant new unheard of York Uni (motto - 'on the threshold of wisdom' which we students at nearby Leeds thought was apt) to read 'politics' (give me strength) then eventually qualified as a solicitor, which you could in those days without a proper degree.

The idea of forcing the national framework of 35,000 GPs having to interview, examine and then either grant or refuse certification triennially for all the >75yr old drivers on their lists, on top of all they already need to do, would not only be very expensive, but also result in lots of work for solicitors from the inevitable disputes.

So possibly a good idea for those of her ilk after all. After all, there are now over 100,000 solicitors looking for work (there used to be about the same number as GPs back when she qualified).

Edited by John F on 03/09/2017 at 18:42

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Terry W

For city and town dwellers where traffic levels are particularly high and oubic transport alt ernaatives abundant this may be a good strategy.

For those in the country, villages and smaller towns, withdrawal of a driving lecence leaves people reliant on a twice a day (or maybe twice a week) bus service or expensive taxis.

Harman is MP for Peckham and clearly thinks that civilisation stops at the M25 - hence an ill thought through policy

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bromptonaut

Brainless idea from a brainless politician - and perhaps an indication of OAP incipient dementia? Despite privileged London middle-class upbringing and education at top school (St Pauls), Harriet went to the distant new unheard of York Uni (motto - 'on the threshold of wisdom' which we students at nearby Leeds thought was apt) to read 'politics' (give me strength) then eventually qualified as a solicitor, which you could in those days without a proper degree.

Do you have to be offensive about OAP/dmentia? If you read the link I posted upthread her interest arises from constituency casework. It's a reasonable policy proposition and one which can be implemeted without need for GP to do a full physical examination, in most cases he/she could just countersign the renewal form that he's not been consulted about potentially disabling conditions. An optometrists report covering any eye related issues might be worth exploring though.

And why 'give me strength'?. Politics as an academic subject is closely related to history and phiosophy and no cake walk. I think going to a newish campus based University would be an interesting thing to do. York was a full Uni from start and presumably recruited it's academics by pilferring staff from Leeds etc!!.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - FP

"Politics as an academic subject is closely related to history and phiosophy and no cake walk."

Indeed, and it forms one of the subjects in the PPE degree, generally regarded as tough to get into, especially at Oxford. It was originally described thus: "the study of the structure, and the philosophical and economic principles, of Modern Society."

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - John F

Brainless idea from a brainless politician - and perhaps an indication of OAP incipient dementia?

Do you have to be offensive about OAP/dmentia?

None intended. It does happen (Harold Wilson, Margaret Thatcher). I think that people in responsible jobs should be regularly appraised and revalidated. Perhaps time-expired MPs should occasionally be required to exhibit a basic level of logical thought competence e.g. moderately difficult sudoku in less than an hour.

And why 'give me strength'?. Politics as an academic subject is ....no cake walk.

Hm. Compared with university textbooks for astrophysics, biochemistry, computer science, dentistry, engineering (I could go on till 'p'), those for politics can be enjoyed as light bed-time reading.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - FP

"Compared with university textbooks for astrophysics, biochemistry, computer science, dentistry, engineering (I could go on till 'p'), those for politics can be enjoyed as light bed-time reading."

Oh dear. If it's got lots of calculations and looks technical the average uneducated person will automatically assume it's really difficult. For many, it will be, of course - I am certainly not much good at those things.

But to assume that an absence of such things means it's easy is a fallacy. I suggest looking at political philosophy as a subject area. For a start, its breadth is huge. Historically, it's vast - from Ancient China and Greece, via the Medieval period, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Era up to Contemporary studies. Effectively it is entwined in the whole of world history. And there is plenty to challenge the student: concepts such as consequentialism, collectivist anarchism, agonistic democracy (to pick a few at random) show that the philosphical element in political studies is not easy.

My own area is musical composition, in which I am a post-graduate research student (i.e. I already have a Master's degree). Most people, even those who can read music, get pretty lost when I try to explain what I'm studying; I assume they find it difficult when I talk about pitch-generation systems, types of tonality, musical structures, musical creativity and so on.

Sorry - dismissing the study of Politics as "light bed-time reading" just because it's not technical reveals a serious misunderstanding of the nature of intellectual challenge.

Edited by FP on 05/09/2017 at 01:42

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - John F

dismissing the study of Politics as "light bed-time reading" just because it's not technical reveals a serious misunderstanding of the nature of intellectual challenge.

I was relegating, not dismissing it. Politics is indeed interesting, if somewhat pythonesque at times 'anarcho-syndicalist' etc, but no more intellectually challenging than a Times crossword. I still contend it is a cakewalk (one of Debussey's politically incorrect easier pieces which even I can attempt) compared with the disciplines I have mentioned - and many which I didn't. Anyway, your field is about to be taken over by computers!

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - FP

"... your field is about to be taken over by computers!"

Don't get me started.

Relegating, dismissing... Your comment was dismissive and, I still maintain, ill-informed. You might as well "relegate" history, philosophy and economics (for example) to a lesser level. Or perhaps you do.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - galileo

"... your field is about to be taken over by computers!"

Don't get me started.

Relegating, dismissing... Your comment was dismissive and, I still maintain, ill-informed. You might as well "relegate" history, philosophy and economics (for example) to a lesser level. Or perhaps you do.

Considering what a mess politicians and economists have made of running things in recent years, I think John F has a point.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - FP

"'... You might as well "relegate" history, philosophy and economics (for example) to a lesser level. Or perhaps you do.'

Considering what a mess politicians and economists have made of running things in recent years, I think John F has a point."

No. That is sloppy thinking. Politicians may indeed make a mess of things, but that's not the fault of the subjects they read at university - it's the fault of the politicians.

You may as well argue that it was the fault of science that nuclear weapons were not only invented but used, or that it's the fault of the car if there's an accident.

Edited by FP on 05/09/2017 at 15:35

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bromptonaut

I was relegating, not dismissing it. Politics is indeed interesting, if somewhat pythonesque at times 'anarcho-syndicalist' etc, but no more intellectually challenging than a Times crossword.

I will file that in same place as your views on oil and quarter century old tyres :-)

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Andrew-T

<< Politics as an academic subject is closely related to history >>

Indeed it is, and many career politicians will have studied PPE on their way up. I just feel it's a pity that some seem unable to relate the lessons of history to present-day problems. Or perhaps they think they aren't relevant.

I remember in my student days having to supervise practical classes of undergraduate chemists, and being amazed how some didn't make any connection between the content of their lectures and their tasks in the lab.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Andrew-T

Harriet Harman who is she?

A third rate politician who has never made any positive contribution to this country. She needs to retire before she is laughed out of parliament.

Not her fault - her constituents keep voting her in. Though I do see her as a bit of a Goody 2-shoes. However a similar argument might apply to Boris, who is now in a position to cause much more trouble.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - colinh

Had my five-yearly medical checkup in Spain last year - fairly simple procedure - GPs not involved - Traffic Department arranges private clinics in most towns - they take your photograph at the end of the check, and that's transmitted to the Traffic Dept - licence received a week later. Seems a sensible procedure. Incidently, under-65 have a medical check every 10 years

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - argybargy

I believe that HGV drivers have a medical every five years after the age of 40; we certainly did in the fire service. Nobody ever quibbled over this because we knew it was for our own safety as well as that of other road users.

Surely regular testing of older drivers every five years can't do any harm, and might do some good? However, if we accept that testing older drivers might be a "good thing", then the focus moves to funding. Who will pay for the test if the older person is on a limited income? Will the test be paid for by the government, despite austerity? I can't imagine anything like this will ever hit the statute books unless the entire cost is borne by the driver being tested, whatever their circumstances, which could mean that, depending on the cost of the medical examination, some perfectly fit and competent drivers might be forced off the road due to lack of funds.

Additionally, what would be the attitude of the insurance industry to those submitted to the testing regime? If the test throws up evidence of notifiable conditions that the driver subsequently claims not to have been aware of, and which were therefore not declared to either DVLA or the driver's insurer, might that invalidate any claim already made on the ground of non disclosure, leaving the driver struggling to prove ignorance of their condition? Insurers will undoubtedly demand to see the results of the tests, and may take the view that any age related condition revealed, even if not notifiable, makes the driver too great a risk for cover to continue.

Thus a quick examination of Ms Harman's suggestion reveals several potential problems.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - focussed

It's really a case of pot and kettle with Harriet Harman.

www.express.co.uk/news/uk/150548/Labour-MP-Harriet...e

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/6259329/I...l

What was that saying about people who live in glass houses?

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Big John

If the test throws up evidence of notifiable conditions that the driver subsequently claims not to have been aware of, and which were therefore not declared to either DVLA or the driver's insurer, might that invalidate any claim already made on the ground of non disclosure, leaving the driver struggling to prove ignorance of their condition? Insurers will undoubtedly demand to see the results of the tests, and may take the view that any age related condition revealed, even if not notifiable, makes the driver too great a risk for cover to continue.

Surely as part of this "potential" test the driver would be made aware of medical notifiabe conditions.

However this is nothing to do with age - lots of younger drivers on the road with notifiable medical conditions, how can this be picked up?

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - RT

My take on all this is as follows:-

Driving ability varies widely across all ages - any gradual reduction in capability due to age or health is minor, very minor compared to inherent spread of ability range.

I do think that ability to drive should be regularly tested, both for health and competence, and those tests should start at age 18.

Having been driving for over 50 years, it is ridiculous that I was tested for competence once and never checked medically, save for a self-declaration at age 70 - but nothing magically happens, or doesn't happen, at any particular age.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - RT

My take on all this is as follows:-

Driving ability varies widely across all ages - any gradual reduction in capability due to age or health is minor, very minor compared to inherent spread of ability range.

I do think that ability to drive should be regularly tested, both for health and competence, and those tests should start at age 18.

Having been driving for over 50 years, it is ridiculous that I was tested for competence once and never checked medically, save for a self-declaration at age 70 - but nothing magically happens, or doesn't happen, at any particular age.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - argybargy

If the test throws up evidence of notifiable conditions that the driver subsequently claims not to have been aware of, and which were therefore not declared to either DVLA or the driver's insurer, might that invalidate any claim already made on the ground of non disclosure, leaving the driver struggling to prove ignorance of their condition? Insurers will undoubtedly demand to see the results of the tests, and may take the view that any age related condition revealed, even if not notifiable, makes the driver too great a risk for cover to continue.

Surely as part of this "potential" test the driver would be made aware of medical notifiabe conditions.

However this is nothing to do with age - lots of younger drivers on the road with notifiable medical conditions, how can this be picked up?

Test every driver every five years. Which like Ms Harman's idea, is obviously never going to happen.

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - Bilboman

Like Colinh, I regularly go in for the eyesight, hearing, reflexes and hand-eye coordination test to renew my Spanish licence. The last few Brits clinging onto the pink and green licence in the expat communities on the Costas should be rounded up before too long, as the law now requires compulsory re-registration of driving licences for foreign residents.
Rather than demonising or singling out the over 75s, a regular check-up like the compulsory one for Spanish drivers every 5 or 10 years is much more likely to pick up gradual deterioration,so let's bring it on!

all - More politicians trying to get older drivers off t - jamie745

No fan of Harriet Harman here by any means and wouldn't vote for the Labour Party under any condition - except maybe a weekend at the Playboy mansion with unlimited...privileges....anyway....

To be fair what she's said isn't totally stupid. I've always thought it strange that someone at 70 can declare themselves fit to drive and there's plenty of examples when that elderly person has been proven to be unfit to drive but only after they've killed somebody.

I don't think people should be made to take a driving test at 70, that's simply impractical but there should be something to assess whether they have the basic reactions and awareness required.

Lorry drivers have to do it every five years. People who have racing licences are required to have regular eyetests and all sorts so I don't see why it's so offensive to suggest someone who hasn't been assessed for their driving competence in maybe 53 years shouldn't have to pass something

Edited by jamie745 on 05/09/2017 at 22:21

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car