Monday, 27 March 2017

Elderly and driving

After the news in the media during the last few days, I think it's time that elderly people had their eyes etc tested on a regular basis.

Failing that I do feel that the DVLA should insist on all  drivers from a certain age, being required to have a fitness to drive medical. This is turn could be linked into your insurance, so that you get a premium if you are fit, and the insurance is blocked if you are unfit.

It seems there are far too many people on the road who are unfit to drive, yet no one stops them until it's too late, or when it's obvious that they should have been stopped, by their own family  or the medical profession.

People with dementia etc, have to report their condition to the DVLA, "Driving and Vehicle Licencing Authority" after which they can lose their driving licence, or they are required to reapply for their licence every year, and this is supported by a letter from the persons doctors etc

While most if these people accept this advice and move on , many simply refuse, and carry in regardless of the consequences
I also think that it's time that doctors stood in and contacted the DVLA, rather than leaving it to their patients.

While the doctors surgeries may be overworked, they have the DVLA forms in their surgeries, and could get the practise manager to send,  it once it's been completed by a doctor. 

The other day it was in the press about an elderly man, who carried on driving even though his eyesight was bad.

If a doctor refuses to contact the DVLA themselves, they are leaving themselves wide open to accusations of allowing an unfit person to drive, however too many of them hide behind patient confidentiality, so something needs to be changed.

While in reality,  it's up to the patient themselves to contact the driving authority, many simply refuse to accept there is anything wrong.

I do feel that the doctors are possibly irresponsible for doing nothing.  

However these days I do feel that those people who are being treated for an illness like dementia,  are at a disadvantage, because their insurance costs go up once they are diagnosed, and therefore things need to be more balanced. 

To me the UK should adapt the European scheme, where your insurance stays with you for
Iife and any medical problems are flagged up straight away

This is because many drivers simply lie to officials to carry on driving, and that's too easy.

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