Page last updated at 05:44 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 06:44 UK

'Re-test OAPs' says Stirling Moss


Racing legend Stirling Moss has called for elderly drivers to be 're-evaluated' to ensure safety on the road

Pensioners over 70 should be made to retake driving tests, one of the racing world's greatest ever drivers says.

Sir Stirling Moss, 79, told BBC Wales' Week In Week Out he believes OAPs' fitness to drive should be checked.

Department of Transport evidence suggests that accidents involving older people are likely to be caused by driver error and slower reaction times.

Government statistics suggest older drivers are not more likely to be in accidents than other age groups.

But Sir Stirling believed it would be a "good idea to have a new evaluation when we reach 70, then 75, 80".

Moss, a four-time runner-up in the Formula One World Championship during the 1950s, raced with distinction in a variety of motor racing categories during a lengthy career.

He told BBC Wales: "I do think older drivers should be re-evaluated because first of all, a lot of the road signs are changing and the road ethics are changing and the way the roads are formed.

The danger on the road is not the elderly is the young motorist who appears to be the problem
Jim Young

"There are many things one has to keep up with.

"I think it would be a good idea to have a new evaluation when we reach 70, then 75, 80."

There are over three million licence holders over the age of 70, and that number is projected to reach 4.5m by 2014.

Currently elderly drivers have to declare their medical conditions to the DVLA when they reach 70.

The Department for Transport said it is planning a consultation on health and the driver licensing system.

Sir Stirling's concerns are shared by Madeline Selwyn, from Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, whose 19-year-old son Jonathan was killed in March 2002 when his car was hit by a 69-year-old travelling the wrong way down the M4.

Mrs Selwyn said this changed the way she views elderly motorists.

"It's funny," she said, "I look at people as I pass them, rather than their cars.

"I think we've all seen people getting out of cars and they can hardly stand or walk. You think, 'should they be driving?' It can be frightening sometimes."

According to the Department of Transport older drivers are set to become more numerous and are predicted to be driving further and more often.

Week In Week Out, Tuesday 23 June, BBC ONE Wales, 2235 BST


Leslie Philips, 76, says over 70s shouldn't be forced to give up their driving licenses and that a voluntary system would be more appropriate

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