An 81-year old driver who twice crashed into a cyclist will be able to continue to drive after magistrates decided not to ban him.
Instead, Cyril Booker’s driving licence was endorsed with eight penalty points and the pensioner will have to pay a total of £224 in fine, victim surcharge and costs, reports the Daily Gazette.
Booker, from Basildon, admitted driving without due care and attention and failing to stop when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court this week.
The court heard that he had twice tried to overtake the cyclist while driving his Nissan Juke on Halstead Road, Eight Ash Green, near Colchester on 7 June this year.
However, he twice hit the cyclist as he attempted the manoeuvre, causing unspecified damage.
Several people in the comments to the local newspaper’s article questioned why Booker had been allowed to keep his driving licence, as well as questioning why older drivers are not required to undergo a retest when reapplying for it.
One wrote: “Old people should be retested every certain amount of time, especially those that have held licences for many decades.
“They are dangers to too many people. Guarantee many would fail. That’s the worrying thing.”
Another said: “Everyone should be retested every five years and banned if they fail a second test, which they have to take in the six months after a fail.
“A fail should also be notifiable to an insurer. I can’t drive a fork lift in a warehouse without regular tests.
“Why can I then go outside and drive a ton of metal at speed having passed an hour-long test 25 years ago?”
Currently, motorists aged 70 or over are required to reapply for their driving licence every three years, but there is no requirement for them to retake their driving test.
A poll earlier this year found that almost three in four (74 per cent) Brits agreed that older drivers should be required to retake their driving test with two thirds saying that should happen before the driver’s 80th birthday.
> Three quarters of Brits want drivers to retake their driving test
By contrast, only 18 per cent of respondents believed that current regulations should remain in force.
In a statement released after an 80-year-old driver was handed a suspended jail sentence and banned from driving for life after causing the death of a cyclist by careless driving, the charity Cycling UK called for a review of the licensing system for older drivers.
> Do we need mandatory retesting for older drivers?
“Cycling UK recognises that sentencing elderly and otherwise law-abiding citizens for driving offences, when they have a long and largely unblemished driving record, is an unenviable task for judges more accustomed to punishing offenders they perceive the prisons were designed for,” the organisation said.
“This case however, not for the first time, raises the increasingly important issue of how, with an ageing population where people want to maintain independence and continue driving as long as possible, the DVLA regulates and tests the fitness to drive of those whose reactions, sight and road confidence are declining,” it added.