Older drivers behind the wheel increasing in the UK
Old drivers need guidance to keep them safe on the roads.

About 80 per cent of the people aged between 60 and 69 hold driving licences in the UK and are expected to continue to drive their vehicles on the busy roads in the country for the next 20 years.

The percentage of people aged above 70 who hold driving licences went up from 15 per cent in 1975 to 60 per cent in 2010, says a report from the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (Pacts).

The study, led by Naomi Baster, was conducted at a time of increasing number of casualties among old drivers and is aimed at providing guidelines for greater safety and mobility for the ageing population in the country.

The report has pointed out that people in the age group of 30 -39 who hold driving licences can be expected to be on the roads till 2050.

The report suggests the older population should go for regular check-ups to ascertain if they are fit for driving. Doctors conducting the check-ups should keep their patients in the know of their exact mental and physical state as and when they sit behind the wheel.

A program to create awareness among old drivers - Old Drivers Awareness Week - will be held in Sussex from March 19 to 23.

The report from the Pacts has suggested that there should be a national course designed for aged drivers and other road users to address the safety issues.

The report has stated that a national strategy for an ageing population is the key to guarantee safety of everyone involved and that the older population is here to stay.

Robert Gifford, Executive Director of Pacts, said: "We need to move beyond seeing older people as a problem to viewing them as contributing to a mixed society."