Skip To The Main Content

Drivers' health tests proposed

by  | 

New health tests could be forced upon drivers every decade to check whether their ability to handle a vehicle has deteriorated, reports claim.

The idea would be for drivers to declare themselves fit to drive every decade, with the option of submitting themselves to tests against new minimum physical and mental requirements.

The tests would not be mandatory, but motorists could face prosecution if they are later found to fall short of the minimum physical and mental requirements, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper said tests would be issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) and are likely to concentrate on eyesight and reaction times.

The report adds that plans are set to be unveiled in the New Year, although a Department for Transport (DfT) official described the claims as "speculation".

However, the DfT launched a consultation earlier this year into ways of improving road safety, amid concern that increasing numbers of elderly and frail drivers are a risk to road safety.

A DfT spokesperson said: "Increasing car use, changes in the population's health and medical advances all mean that the demands on the health and driver licensing system are very different to those of 30 years ago - when it was established.

"We are considering these issues carefully and intend to consult on how we can improve the service we offer drivers."

© Press Association 2008