Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

It is a bit of a story, so bear with me.

I have an old friend, old in the sense that he is 73 soon and old friend in the sense that he has been a Good, and kind friend for many years, and generally asks for advice on medical matters from young rovergirl, although she is an Obstetrician/gynaecologist and not a GP.

Sometimes he even listens and does what she says.

About 15 years ago he suffered a severe bout of vomiting coughing on a channel crossing, after a heavy days drinking in Calais on a daay trip "with the boys". After this he had eyesight problems with visual field defects which lead to DVLA taking away his licince, which he accepted with grace. He then had a triple heart bypass and recovered well. Then about 5 years after his licence was removed he got a letter from DVLA saying that different requirements were now in place because of a change in european law, and to take an assessment at a centre near Esher, being invited for a medical, a discussion, a period on a simulator and the a drive in a car on a closed circuit, subject to the first sections all being satisfactory.

He was nervous about it so I called and discussed it and explained what would happen, and the official said that there was no compulsion to take the assessment, but nothing to lose.

So off he went, did it and was told that he would be hearing from them.

Following week licence turned up, and has now been driving for an extra ten years.

However, my personal opinion is that he frightens the daylights out of me when i am with him, and has little spatial awareness nowadays. He has driving glasses as required but does not always wear them.

He has received the invitation to review from DVLA, but I am unsure on how to proceed.

So do I contact DVLA for advice, or just get youngrovergirl to persuade him to go back to his gp to get the form signed. My own thoughts are that a further assessment should be done.

What does the panel say? HJ ? Avant? GB? (tend to respect GBs opinions)

If HJ wants to pick up on this for the agony Column?

Edited by oldroverboy. on 01/11/2015 at 13:50

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - John Boy

You seem to be in a very good position to assess his driving ability yourself, ORB. In that case, I think it's time for a heart to heart chat.

Tell him how much you've appreciated his friendship and why. If you can think of any good advice he's given you, include it. Carry on by saying you're worried that the friendship might end because you need to tell him something he might not want to hear.

Pause at that point, so that he can think of the worst, then go on to tell him that his driving frightens the life out of you. He's likely to ask what's wrong with his driving, so then you tell him, stressing how it has gone downhill over the last ten years.

Tell him also that the time is fast approaching when you will no longer have the nerve to sit in the passenger seat when he is driving. If you feel you're getting anywhere at that point, go on to stress that he could end up in hurting himself or someone else.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - RobJP

John Boy's approach seems eminently sensible.

Alternatively, there is this approach ...

emaildvla.direct.gov.uk/emaildvla/cegemail/dvla/en...l

I'll wish you luck with however you decide to go about it. We had the same sort of problem a few years ago with my Father-in-law. I saw him nearly kill someone once. Told him to stop the car nearby, and I took the keys out of the ignition. Told him that he wasn't driving home, and I called him a taxi. A few other relatives expressed their relief to me that he was no longer on the road, but none of them had been brave enough to actually say anything.

He was decidedly grumpy about it for a few months, but nowadays even he admits that he wasn't fit to be behind the wheel.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - scot22

I agree with John Boy. If he is a good friend, not doubting it, then he will accept you are speaking with good intentions. I know you will be sincere and that will come over.

It will be tough but the only way to be a good friend is to tell him. Relationships are only good if you can tell someone what they don't want to hear.

Very best wishes. We all respect what you have said and hope, and no reason why it shouldn't, goes well.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - gordonbennet

I'm looking at this slightly differently, your friend is of the old school and i'll lay a pound to a penny he's driving a modern car.

I suggest putting him something a bit old school, or modern but old school if you know what i mean (Suzuki Vitara/Scooby Forester for example or Bromps favourite the good old Berlingo), something a bit higher or squarer, preferably both, and easy to see out of with proper square door mirrors not those silly little make up mirrors fitted to the doors of so many cars, preferably with a silky smooth TC auto box and normal controls.

If he gets back a bit of driving pleasure, something to look forward to going out in it instead of it being a chore and lumping it, you might find it helps all round.

Its only a suggestion because i had the misfortune to drive one of the boss's cars during the week, and almost new A3 and whats a detestable thing it is, crammed inside no room to swing a cat yet quite a wide car considering there's no room inside, blind spots all over, idiotic electric parking brake keyless go stop start all the things i neither want nor need and will not buy into, ever.

The pleasure of getting back in my old Landcruiser after the Aldi was like slipping on your favourite slippers and putting your feet in front of a warm fire on a cold day, it's just a pleasure to drive and i'd be devastated to be stuck driving something modern cramped and full of electronic tat.

edit, also i'm the worlds worse passenger, and i can pick fault with anyone else's driving (except mine:-), SWMBO frightens me to death but her driving is shall we say competent fast Greek...could this apply to you too ORB?

Edited by gordonbennet on 01/11/2015 at 17:32

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

dit, also i'm the worlds worse passenger, and i can pick fault with anyone else's driving (except mine:-), SWMBO frightens me to death but her driving is shall we say competent fast Greek...could this apply to you too ORB?

Swmbo is not too bad, (but slightly off topic my scariest moment with her was when she failed to stop at an armed checkpoint in the middle east, only braking heavily when I said that's the army, stop... and as i was sitting behind her (her mum was in front) I looked at the soldier and he looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders.. He then proceded to give her a right rollicking.. but let us go.

My friend has the chevrolet aveo I bought for him 30 months ago and likes the car.

I will have an off the record chat with DVLA in the morning about my friend.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - scot22

I agree with GB's comments about modern cars : I'm still searching for a car that has all I'm looking for.

However, I think if someone is a cause for concern they should not be driving. I will/do apply that to me.

I understand people's wish to keep driving but don't feel it is justified to take a risk.

Sorry if this sounds uncaring ( I do care ) but road safety should be paramount.

I also realise GB that you are suggesting an alternative solution, not advocating that someone should continue if not medically fit.. If that is perfectly safe (as much as anyone is perfectly safe) wonderful.

Hope I've expressed myself clearly.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - gordonbennet
I also realise GB that you are suggesting an alternative solution, not advocating that someone should continue if not medically fit.. If that is perfectly safe (as much as anyone is perfectly safe) wonderful.

Hope I've expressed myself clearly.

I'm wondering if ORB's mate would maybe benefit from something different first, i can only go by how i and others i know feel, i detest the modern car with its shallow sloping screen, huge A pillars, silly little mirrors, lack of all round vision especially through the rearview mirror which might as well have been through an oval kaleidoscope in the Aldi.

Sat in a more upright car, Forester Berlingo Vitara suggested, with a fairly upright screen and narrower A pillars offering some vision, sensible oblong/square mirrors, a nice smooth TC auto (Berlingo falls down at this point) and a higher driving position with good rear and three quarter visibility can alter massively a persons driving and their enjoyment or not of it.

Even my daughter, now 30, hates the most modern cars for many of the above reasons, not my influence here (she's as stubborn as her mother) goodness knows what i'm going to find for her when her 04 Civic finally dies.

My driving deteriorates badly in modern cars, maybe phsycological, but i feel trapped in the horrid little things with all their pointless elctronic garbage, even though they're often large outside because of all the safety gubbins and fashionable (pfft) design the body ends up with bulges and blind spots and just cramped...i do not want or need connectivity i want a car thats a pleasure to drive not a chore.

I'm an advocate of people in their autumn years enjoying their freedom, and the driving licence does spell freedom for many, i'd be looking to find any alternatives to try first.

The older generation have come under increasing criticism in recent years, for being, well, old...taking up valuable resources (that they paid for), using the NHS too much etc you know the NHS that THEY paid for, the powers that be would be only too happy to shuffle them off the roads at the earliest opportunity too (be shuffling them into early graves if they had their way), just goes against my grain giving the big brother beast succour.

He's only 73 for goodness sake, i once delivered a Network Q Astra turbo many years ago to a village down the west country, as i arrived there a lovely senior lady came bounding up the street like a puppy with two tails, the car a right flying machine, was hers, a lovely woman full of life and a little older than ORB's mate...i hope that still lovely woman enjoyed her car.

Edited by gordonbennet on 01/11/2015 at 22:35

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - catsdad

I think you are right re DVLA, they must get similar queries on a daily basis. I wonder too if there might be a local driving school who would run a friendly assessment? We had similar situation with an elderly neighbour with whom we were on speaking terms but not well enough to broach such a subject directly. She had multiple (no injury) bumps but matters came to a head when she drove straight through her closed garage doors in broad daylight because her eyesight was so poor she thought the doors were open. At that point someone had a word with the local police and after gentle words of advice she gave up driving. You may not be a that stage yet but its another avenue in future.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Andrew-T

The position you are in sounds distinctly uncomfortable, as it is always hard to tell an old acquaintance something you know they will not like to hear. Some sensible and diplomatic suggestions have been made, but at bottom you have to decide whether your stronger duty is to your friend or to the road-using public. Many people will dodge this choice as long as possible by hoping the problem goes away, or sweep it under the carpet. I don't envy your situation, but I think the choice must be made.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Avant

Sorry, ORB -I've come to this rather late in the day, so late indeed that it's already tomorrow.

I totally see GB's point about trying a car with a higher driving position, but it does rather depend on what's actually wrong with his vision.

It would be good, obviously, if you can stay friends, so theBig brother approach - reporting direct to the DVLA - is a last resort surely. A quiet word from you or YRG sounds the best bet ast least to start with.

Maybe you could start by saying, gently but firmly, that you're not willing to be driven by him unless he wears his driving glasses (why doesn't he, for goodness' sake?) You would then have the lead-in to mention it again if he still isn't safe even with the glasses on, next time he drives you anywhere.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - concrete

Hello ORB, I fully sympathise with your plight, my late father had a similar problem but eventually we managed to pursuade him to give up driving. We approached it by asking him not to drive for a few weeks, it was a bit of a pain picking him up now and then, but after a few weeks of not driving he was strangely reluctant to get behind the wheel again and did not enjoy it. He realised that his age was against him in remembering everything needed to be safe for himself and others and he bowed to the inevitable. Actually using taxis and buses proved to be a real financial gain for him as opposed to running a car. That may be an argument you can use on your friend.

Given that age and health play such a vital role in how capable we are I think your friend would benefit from a heart to heart with you and come to realise the actual real danger he and others can be placed in. I don't think a change of vehicle will improve his general driving standard. If he lacks concentration and coordination then that is an absolute fact.

Best of luck with your chat. Cheers Concrete

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - SteVee

Many councils - and sometimes local IAM/RoSPA groups - will give an assessment drive. If however your friend lacks confidence, then these can feel quite threatening.

Does he have a partner that can drive ?

Good Luck - I hope I have a friend who feels they can tell me to stop driving when necesary.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Wackyracer

I was very impressed by a couple of friendly locals recently who have both realised that they no longer feel they are safe to drive and have stopped driving, I suppose it is a bit ironic that I thought they were two of the better ones behind the wheel.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - John Boy

I hope you will update us on this, ORB. I expect to be faced with the same dilemma sooner or later.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Partial update, as things have changed.

Has had Chest pains (again) and been referred urgently to have and Angiogram next week, and possible stent fitted, so has been advised to stop driving up till the procedure and a few days later.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - gordonbennet

Please give your friend the virtual best wishes from your dotty bunch of mates in the HJ backroom, for a speedy recovery and back behind the wheel in due course.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - John Boy

Thanks, ORB. Best wishes to your friend.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - concrete

I was very impressed by a couple of friendly locals recently who have both realised that they no longer feel they are safe to drive and have stopped driving, I suppose it is a bit ironic that I thought they were two of the better ones behind the wheel.

It is probably because they are good drivers that they realise they are falling short of their own standards. Very responsible.

ORB, I hope your friend makes a full recovery. After a few weeks off driving he may feel less like driving at all, which is the time to 'assist' his decision with some well meant advice.

Cheers Concrete

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Wackyracer

Best wishes to your friend ORB.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - oldroverboy.

Friend has had Angiogram, No stents fitted, not much they can do

Sample of report "Occluded at level of OM1 branch, severe Ostial disease.

It is not all bad, (but bad enough) and has been advised about lifestyle/medication changes , Taking it easy for a few days, Has not been driving as not feeling particularly well.

Needs to radically cut Cholesterol/fatty (ready meals) intake and alcohol consumption. Will have words about driving next weekend.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - RT

He should have received the diet/lifestyle advice when he had his triple bypass - it becomes a waste of money if steps aren't taken to stop the new arteries blocking like the old ones.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - oldroverboy.

He should have received the diet/lifestyle advice when he had his triple bypass - it becomes a waste of money if steps aren't taken to stop the new arteries blocking like the old ones.

He did!

And has igmored it.

three days before the angiogram 4 pints and shared half a bottle of whisky!

Even though an old friend, getting a bit cheesed off!

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - Wackyracer

This is another thing that annoys me in the UK, people are so ignorant when it comes to healthy eating and advice about changing your lifestyle with regards to food and alcohol consumption.

I've been watching the series "doctor in your house" and if that is not proof that you are what you eat then I think nothing will get the message across.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - Armitage Shanks {p}

I am well over 70 and, purely for my own inteerest, I took the IAM Senior Driver's Assessment. £35 for 90 minutes ISTR. He might like to try that so as to keep personality and kinship out of the equation. Can your friend read a number plate at the prescribed distance (60ft)? If he can't that would make a decision easy and self-evident.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - oldroverboy.

For the moment we have persuaded him not to drive, using the argument of best practice after minor heart intervention. An angiogram would normally be no driving for 48 hours up to a week depending on symptoms. (and being a bit pushy)

He would not be inclined to submit to any sort of assessment, BUT as he was assessed to get the licence back originally, if he is still obstinate i will suggest to DVLA that he be re assessed.

It would not be my decision, and i think that i am going to have to consider other road users safety as a proiority.

Horns?

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - scot22

I am sure we all appreciate how difficult it must be for you : and all respect how sensitively you are dealing with it. He is fortunate to have a friend like you.

As you put in your final sentence the safety of others is a priority. Best wishes.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - FP

An interesting footnote to this thread: "Doctors have a duty to inform the DVLA if a patient is not fit to drive, according to new guidance prompted by medics’ concerns following the Glasgow bin lorry crash."

(From The Guardian, tinyurl.com/o8o4y7l)

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - RT

An interesting footnote to this thread: "Doctors have a duty to inform the DVLA if a patient is not fit to drive, according to new guidance prompted by medics’ concerns following the Glasgow bin lorry crash."

(From The Guardian, tinyurl.com/o8o4y7l)

It would be a big step forward if doctors made their advice clear to the patient - and avoid different conflicting advice from different doctors !

A friend of mine had his licence suspended by DVLA on medical grounds - but his GP and consultants all backed his application to be reinstated which DVLA did after a year but steadfastly refused to say who or what triggered the initial suspension.

The need for clarity and honesty from patient/driver, their medics and DVLA is paramount.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - Theophilus

As a (retired) GP who used to perform DVLA medicals from time-to-time on drivers who had declared a medical condition and had their licence temporarily suspended, I am very aware of how inadequate such examinations are to ascertain whether a patient is fit to drive. Even when examining someone with a known heart condition it is very difficult to judge whether this will affect their driving ability ( I well remember one such - a retired vicar - I could find no indication of heart problems but picked up indications during the medical that he was suffering from dementia, and strongly advised hime to give up his licence)

The bottom line is that, other than testing eyesight, there is really very little that a doctor can pick up that wouldn't be better assessed by a friend / family member or objective observer sitting in the passenger seat while the suspect driver takes the car on a short drive. We can't yet connect human beings to an electronic black box to ascertain which components are likely to fail in the future!

Edited by Theophilus on 13/02/2016 at 16:46

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - madf

I am well over 70 and, purely for my own inteerest, I took the IAM Senior Driver's Assessment. £35 for 90 minutes ISTR. He might like to try that so as to keep personality and kinship out of the equation. Can your friend read a number plate at the prescribed distance (60ft)? If he can't that would make a decision easy and self-evident.

Thanks for that . As I near 70,,, (in age but of course I am mentally and physically 40 - years not months:-) I may try it...

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Update - John Boy

Sadly, the IAM Senior Driver's Assessment is now £49 for 60 minutes:

www.iam.org.uk/drivers/motorists-courses/driving-a...t

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - oldroverboy.

Now getting very cross, and I must look at this dispassionately.

Was not taking all his medication before these current heart problems, as it interfered with his alcohol consumption.... I have been assured by close friends that he does not drink and drive anymore, but still binge drinks on occasion.

Youngrovergirl has tried to tell him to modify his lifestyle, and (separately) it is not a financial issue, He is hearing what we tell him but not listening.

I am going this weekend to try and convince him to change his behaviour and tell him as kindly as i can that i no longer consider him safe. will attempt to rope in a couple of friends as well who he respects, but suspect that if I go down the route of informing DVLA it will end a long friendship.

However I do NOT want to find out that he has had (another) accident!

I will have another conversation with DVLA in the morning, in view of the previous assessment.

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - RT

Now getting very cross, and I must look at this dispassionately.

Was not taking all his medication before these current heart problems, as it interfered with his alcohol consumption.... I have been assured by close friends that he does not drink and drive anymore, but still binge drinks on occasion.

Youngrovergirl has tried to tell him to modify his lifestyle, and (separately) it is not a financial issue, He is hearing what we tell him but not listening.

I am going this weekend to try and convince him to change his behaviour and tell him as kindly as i can that i no longer consider him safe. will attempt to rope in a couple of friends as well who he respects, but suspect that if I go down the route of informing DVLA it will end a long friendship.

However I do NOT want to find out that he has had (another) accident!

I will have another conversation with DVLA in the morning, in view of the previous assessment.

I can relate to that - I like a drink (after driving, not before) and have to be disciplined to keep within the old guideline of 28 units/week - so I was miserable as sin when put on anti-coagulant (warfarin) and told not to drink - but I eventually found the new breed of anti-coagulants for which alcohol has no contra-indications so I found an acceptable balance.

It's quite likely that your friend will have heard all the reasoned arguments before, indeed worked it all out for himself, but sometimes those people just won't be told.

I think you need to let your conscience rule, not your heart.

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - oldroverboy.

An Uodate,

We have repeatedly told him that his not taking his blood pressure medication, so that he can drink alcohol, (not just me, but others) and we have said not to ask for advice if he is not going to take said advice. On saying that he doesn't care (harsh I know) He said he doesn't and we can all go forthe and ..

Have not spoken for 5 weeks, but panicked call from one of his female aquaintances friday to say " he has gone off the rails" "has no integrity" "has punched in the pub and on the underground 2 men and a woman because "they were laughing at him"

A doctor friend suspects vascular dementia, but cannot be involved.

In the middle of all this he has actually stopped drink driving as he suspects that he has been informed on.

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - FP

Thanks for the update, ORB.

This sounds like a case that goes well beyond the original issue and your old friend seems to have some serious mental/behavioural problems.

I really don't know what I would do, but maybe if he got into trouble with the police it might bring things to a head. If he's assaulting people are they not taking it further? Would the police insist on a doctor examining him?

Very difficult.

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - oldroverboy.

An update for the old friend, (who i spoke to for the first time in 10 months yesterday. His sister and nephew told me that they were frightened by his driving (agressive. no spatial awareness/staring fixedly ahead) and he has cut himself off from a lot of his friends, but I think i am going to have to "bite the bullet" and inform DVLA.

Edited by oldroverboy. on 24/12/2016 at 18:10

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - gordonbennet

I'm only going to make one comment here, and hope you don't take offence..

You haven't seen him for 10 months, and are relying on the testimony of his sister and nephew, sorry but i'm very glad i'm not the old chap no wonder he's distancing himself, what qualifies the sister and nephew to judge his driving capabilities and discuss them.

SWMBO scares me witless sometimes when she's driving, but again who am i to judge her, i'm probably still mentally driving an artic when i drive so may well be taking things too steady at times.

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - oldroverboy.

I'm only going to make one comment here, and hope you don't take offence..

You haven't seen him for 10 months, and are relying on the testimony of his sister and nephew, sorry

They are not the only ones, neighbours too (he hit a neighbours car), and there are other issues too, so as a collective we feel that it would be for DVLA to decide if they want to investigate/assess him. If they say ok, then our conscience is clear.

It is not my decision, but any of the others can go to the dvla website and state their concerns.

GB, no offence taken, but i (and others) are caught between a rock and a hard place. I had several hours on the phone and everyone was expecting me to "persuade" him to stop drinking driving and generally accept that he is no longer competent/capable. I cannot and will not "ORDER" him to stop driving, but given his past medical history, and the "fact" that his close family feel that he is "losing his marbles" acting irrationally.

I won't take that responsibility and it won't be me that decides.

As far as I can see the general consensus on this forum has been to try to persuade him to stop driving voluntarily and only then go down the route of dvla.

Edited by oldroverboy. on 24/12/2016 at 19:18

Help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma.Getting Cross! - NARU
... his close family feel that he is "losing his marbles" acting irrationally.

If they feel that strongly, they could always take his car keys away.

Sad situation for you, your friend and his family.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - NARU

I worked out that with my mum, her car represented her freedom.

Getting her to give it up needed a carrot as well as a stick. Having been brought up to be thrifty, she had a huge aversion to taxis. But she can be highly logical.

I sat down with her and we worked out the cost of running her car. I proposed that she put that amount into a virtual pot, to pay for taxis any time she wanted one.

At the end of a year's trial, she's only spent half the amount in the pot. She's done more walking, and had some lifts from friends, but had started taking the taxis too. She gave the remaining money in the pot to charity and refilled it for the second year.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Falkirk Bairn

Fomer neighbour, in his mid 70s, had had a couple or more minor bumps BUT we knew his eyesight was failing.

One day he announced he had given up driving & sold the car to another neighbour.

The following week, after one of his regular eye check-ups, said he was now officially classified as BLIND!

Took a taxi everywhere, mostly the corner shop for "supplies" - in previous years we had given him a bottle of Port from our holiday to the Algarve - he lost the best part of a day as he said,"I thought it was just a thick red wine" he had drunk a bottle in an hour or so!

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Wackyracer

At the end of a year's trial, she's only spent half the amount in the pot. She's done more walking, and had some lifts from friends, but had started taking the taxis too. She gave the remaining money in the pot to charity and refilled it for the second year.

That is very true, talking to a neighbour once he said it would be cheaper for his wife to sell her car and go by taxi as she used it so rarely.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Wackyracer

If ORB and his friends family do nothing about the situation. If something terrible happens it would be a heavy burden to carry knowing that their intervention could have/would have prevented such an event.

I fully understand that a car is a person freedom but, there has to be a point at which you can't trade off the persons and the publics safety for the persons wish to continue driving.

The case of Cassie McCord shows what can happen when a person who is unfit to drive continues to drive despite being told not to by the Police just days earlier. Colin Horsfall the driver died too but, his arrogance took the life of a young girl just going about her daily life. This is just not acceptable on any level.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Before i fill in the online form, Can HJ himself please comment?

Avant...Can you poke it his way for comment please?

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Reply...

There's a balance of risk here. If he can't drive, then he'll probably sit in an armchair in front of the TV for another year or so, then die. If he can drive then he may/may not be a serious danger to others. Very difficult to persuade someone in this situation to give up driving (and give up living). I'd put it in the hands of his GP.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Theophilus

Reply...

I'd put it in the hands of his GP.

As I posted back in February, I am a retired GP who used to be called upon to do DVLA medical examinations from time to time.

From experience I would say that "putting it in the hands of his GP" may seem to defuse the potential for personal relationships to be jeopardised, but it isn't really a satisfactory route to deal with the problem of a driver who has lost the skills or concentration required to drive safely.

A medical examination can (and should) detect relevant visual impairment, and in the case of drivers who have been banned because of drink driving we would take blood to be tested for signs of ongoing liver damage / alcohol abuse ....

But ... a GP is NOT expected to sit in the car with the driver, or even observe the driver take the car around the block ... so a friend / family member / neighbour who has observed the driver's deteriorating abilities is far better placed to make a judgement on whether the necessary skill level is still maintained, and if not to notify the DVLA.

Under these circumstances I would then expect that the DVLA might contact the GP (with the driver's written consent) to ask for a report on any relevant medical conditions.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - scot22

Usually ORB I would agree with the right of older people to decide for themselves : too often their interests are ignored.

However, in this case, I think that the overriding aspect is that other people are being put at risk and that is not acceptable.

I, and I'm sure the others, feel for you. It is a terrible situation but is the potential to affect others life the most important concern ?

I don't know the details, e.g how bad is it ?, we've all seen some appalling drivers who shouldn't be on the road. Hopefully, things will be resolved as well as possible and as soon as possible.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Avant

"Avant...Can you poke it his way for comment please?"

Sorry ORB - not entirely sure what you want to me to forward to HJ - but the simplest thing would be for you to write to him directly (letters@honestjohn.co.uk). Say that you're a regular member of the Backroom forum and you'd like his advice.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Avant, I did email hj and this was his reply.

Firmly sitting on the fence.

Reply...

There's a balance of risk here. If he can't drive, then he'll probably sit in an armchair in front of the TV for another year or so, then die. If he can drive then he may/may not be a serious danger to others. Very difficult to persuade someone in this situation to give up driving (and give up living). I'd put it in the hands of his GP.

Result.......

After much hesitation will call dvla medical helpline tomorrow,

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Had an interesting talk with the medical section of DVLA and they are of the opinion that I should inform them and add any comments relevant to the case, such as previous assessment and known medical history.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Had an interesting talk with the medical section of DVLA and they are of the opinion that I should inform them and add any comments relevant to the case, such as previous assessment and known medical history.

With a heavy heart have completed the form and sent.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - FP

I think you did the right thing.

It's not an easy decision and intervening in someone's life when it will not be welcomed is hard.

The results of doing nothing and possibly seeing a nasty accident to me outweighs the arguments on the other side.

You deserve to be complimented on the meticulous, scrupulous way you have approached this - the complete opposite of the mindless, thoughtless behaviour we see around us so often.

Edited by FP on 30/12/2016 at 14:54

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - RT
You deserve to be complimented on the meticulous, scrupulous way you have approached this - the complete opposite of the mindless, thoughtless behaviour we see around us so often.

I can only echo that compliment - this thread has been running 14 months with, I'm sure, much extra soul-searching away from the Back Room.

You may never get the appreciation from your friend that you deserve, but deserve it you do.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Avant

Absolutely agree with the last two posts. I know you've wrestled with your conscience over this one, ORB - but even though you may have lost one perhaps flawed personality as a friend, you could potentially be saving one or more innocent lives. Congratulations.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

What actually swung it for me was his sisters and nephew who asked me to "do something" but they did not want to be named/involved. There are other people who are worried about the driving, so not just me.

DVLA were willing to listen to the whole "tale" and then suggested i report and that based on the information i provided would investigate and no origin of information would be given,

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - Theophilus

Can I join in commending you ORB, you have clearly wrestled with your conscience and your sense of allegiance to an old friend and found it an immensely difficult decision.

That his immediate family knew that his driving was putting himself and others at risk just underlines how hard it is to take the step of contacting DVLA.

Friends and families are generally those best placed to flag up concerns, and as you have been told by the DVLA they do not release details of the informant to the driver whose fitness to drive has been questioned.

Edited by Theophilus on 30/12/2016 at 18:19

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - scot22

Let me add my commendation for you ORB. Your consideration, diligence and integrity are exemplary.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - nortones2

Kudos to ORB. Wonder how DVLA actually investigate? Taking the subject out on a test run might be beyond the call of duty:)

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - RT

Wonder how DVLA actually investigate? Taking the subject out on a test run might be beyond the call of duty:)

Based on the experience of a friend of mine, DVLA simply write and revoke their existing licence, making it illegal to drive - then sit back and wait for the driver to appeal, putting them through hoops (and wasting valuable NHS time getting reports from GP and specialists).

It took my disabled friend a year to get his licence back - neither the GP or his specialists had advised against him driving but DVLA won't say where the original information came from.

Edited by RT on 31/12/2016 at 10:28

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - skidpan

The DVLA have assessment centres based around the country and when there is a question mark concerning a persons ability to drive safely they refer the driver to one.

Happened to dad after his diagnosis with dementia. The DVLA allowed him to drive with no restrictions for 2 years then referred him for an assessment. I had been in the car with him on a regular basis and always felt safe with dad appearing to be in full control and he had followed his consultants advice to drive only on roads he was familiar with.

But

When he went for the assessment it was in a strange car on roads he had never driven both of which no doubt contributed to the mistakes he made which were serious enough to mean his licence would be revoked. The main issue was his inability to press hard enough with his right foot to carry out an emergency stop and the OT in charge had his licence revoked immediately. It was a test I had never considered carrying out but essential in an emergency situation.

I was relived nothing serious had happened.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - hillman

I was told of an event that happened at a nearby police station. After a minor incident a man in his early 70s had been asked to produce his license at a police station. The man did so and everything was in order. The man went out to his car and the desk sergeant then heard loud noises of a car engine racing and wheels skidding. He went out and found that the man had selected the wrong gear and buried the wheels in the flower bed. The noises were the man's attempts to get the car out of the flower bed, to no avail and considerable mess. The desk sergeant asked the man for his license, siezed it and rang the local taxi company for a cab to take the man home.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

An update...

DVLA asked him to send back the licence, but he refused to send the document saying it was lost, was caught sunday a week ago driving without a licence in the time that the GP had written to DVLA to say that in his opinion the driver was fit to drive, but friend thought that he himself would not pass a driving assessment.

What a MESS!

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - RT

An update...

DVLA asked him to send back the licence, but he refused to send the document saying it was lost, was caught sunday a week ago driving without a licence in the time that the GP had written to DVLA to say that in his opinion the driver was fit to drive, but friend thought that he himself would not pass a driving assessment.

What a MESS!

It's certainly a mess if his GP supports him driving but close friends don't - the GP of course can only evaluate medical conditions, both physical and mental, but doesn't see the patient going about the normal activities.

Sounds like DVLA have revoked his licenced and informed the local police - having been caught, that should bring things to a head.

Collective help from forum - Old friend driving dilemma Poor driving, - oldroverboy.

Although we are no longer speaking.. I have learned via friends that the licence was reinstated, but he has admitted that a friend (who was not insured to drive the car drove it so they could go away one weekend..

I have done my bit, but as far as I am concerned he lied to the Doctor he was sent to, and it was only a verbal examination without any driving assessment.

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car