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OAP driving re-test 'not useful'

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Older motorists retaking their driving tests will not help reduce the number of accidents on roads because they are the most careful while driving, an RAC Foundation report has revealed.

The report also said that the mandatory re-testing move will make it difficult for the police and restrain the mobility of elderly motorists.

Most elderly drivers have a better safety record than the younger ones, the report pointed out. They also fall into different car insurance brackets and can struggle to find an insurer.

Around 63% of trips made by people above 70 years of age are in a car either as a driver or passenger and 53% of the over-70 possess a driving licence.

While currently 16% of the country's population is over the age of 65, the report predicted that a quarter of the population will be in that age range by 2023.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: "We are unlikely to see re-testing at 70 because, despite the myths, older drivers are no less safe than other age groups.

"Re-testing in this way could also contravene recently-passed equality legislation.

"Older drivers should be encouraged to do refresher training where the evidence shows it has benefits, but they should not see this as a compulsory measure which will leave them without their licence and becoming increasingly housebound."

© Press Association 2010