Driving Licenses

This doesn’t effect me but I’m just going to Chuck it out there for discussion. It’s rumoured that there maybe a new restriction on a drivers License who is over 70 years of age. They may be subjected to a night time curfew, depending on their health.

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I can understand that, but more from the point of vision. So many of my friends of this age range have lens cataracts to some degree, affecting firstly focus, then multiple images, and eventually fogging.

In daylight with bright light and small irises then pinhole camera effect helps seeing a lot.

At night and iris wide-open, and with dazzle scatter from oncoming headlights, oops, sorry mate…

It’s another reason for the free bus pass: to keep us old fogeys away from driving!


I haven’t driven at night for many, many years because of terrible night vision, my optician told me the technical name, which I can’t remember, but I do remember him saying it was something to do with “rods and cones”, the ones in the eyes, not those on roadworks!


It’s true that our eyes degenerate as we age but I think as long as it’s done fairly and on an individually tested basis then all well and good. I think I’m right in saying that people who have lost an eye have to take an annual driving test due to the lack of depth perception. Having said that, I think 70 is perhaps a bit harsh as, not only are folk living longer, they’re living healthier longer. A 70 year old now, isn’t the same as a 70 year old 50 years ago. If it was a blanket curfew on all 70 year olds, that would feel totally wrong- especially if there were some sort of emergency situation. Like anything, it needs to be done right


My sentiments exactly! As you say, a blanket curfew on all 70 year olds would feel totally wrong. I understand the idea behind the proposal but blanket application of rules based on age don’t take into account a whole host of other factors.


100%. It’s basically giving license to say that as soon as you hit 70 you’re automatically written off as past it. I know folk in their 70s & 80s who still work and who, to be honest, could run rings round 33-year-old me!

I know someone over 70 (I think mid 70s but not sure) who does not require glasses of any sort (well perhaps sunglasses) and last test by GP, vision was 6:6 (20:20).

The problem is the lack of eyesight tests - particularly the over 40s, whose eyesight deteriorates considerably, but silently and gradually. Short sight becomes obvious because it becomes difficult to read small print, but lack of ling sight is not so obvious.

Everyone should be required to have their eyes tested every decade.

As I read it the restrictions will only apply to those over 70 yoa with health problems, and as an annual eye test is free for 70 + yoa and free bi-annual tests for those 60-69 yoa there’s little or no excuse for driving with defective eyesight.


I was diagnosed with a cataract at 45 and had the op, distance wise that eye is now better than the “good” eye 20 years later. I have an eye test every 2 years and on the one I had a week ago they tell me I’ve got slight fogging on the other eye. Sod this getting old.


If extra eye test checks are needed, not by an optician who could put anything down on a bit of paper, but by by a DVLA-appointed ophthalmologist, who pays for that? I can forsee some pleading poverty. Looking at this through experience of the US system (Alabama at least), where the driver assessment centres include eye testing facilities.

My father developed macular degeneration, but at the same time as Alzheimers. He was “lucky” to be diagnosed early on, but only because my mother was in hospital for a year, recovering (or rather, not recovering( from a spinal cord infarction (destruction of the spinal cord blood supply due to a staph. infection), and we noticed changes in his behaviour, leading to a Mini Mental test. He last drove a car in 2017. Now he can’t do up his laces, nor recognise a things like a microwave. A combination of the eye sight loss and Alzheimers has changed his perception on his surroundings. Another facet of macular degeneration of Charles Bonnet syndrome, a form of hallucination. Before it was recognised, people with it thought they were going crazy, having these incredibly lucid visions of objects and people moving across a space. They’re not; its the brain filling in the “blanks”.

Of course, while it seems obvious that this should be done, is it a problem that actually exists; drivers with a loss of vision driving at night and being involved in an accident? And is it a problem that can be addressed through technology; should a driver with a car capable of “self driving” be subject to such a restriction? Is is a “problem” that might eventually go away? If there are exclusions for drivers who own such equipped cars, does that then discriminate against drivers who can’t afford such cars?

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Well, this topic generates many discussions about elderly drivers and driving… Me… I have been on the road since 1962,never caused a accident, been hit by inconsiderate drivers including drunk drivers,at 76 I have my eyes tested every 2 years,without fail and been told by 2 separate optometrists they are equal to a 40yr old,and wear a recommended driving glasses only for long distance,which l wear religiously when driving,it annoys me greatly we are targeted for poor driving,ll say lookaround and observe how people do drive.

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Let’s put age out of the discussion for a moment regarding Curfew/Night time driving.

If its “Health” problems then that should be across the board and not just over 70.
If they think a person with health (which can be a long list) problems shouldn’t be driving at night how on earth have “They” come to the conclusion they are safe to drive during the day?
They are either safe to drive or not, surely…
Eyesight at night is a different issue.

Having looked into this topic of night vision before and indeed discussed it with several opticians/colleagues.
“They” state that the main reason (I agree with) and the biggest problem is that car headlights have improved dramatically and are much, much brighter (LED for instance) than before.
The human eyes do not like it and take time to adjust/react.

So if you are driving along at night your eyes adapt to the current light conditions on the road.
If say a few cars come along in the opposite direction it momentarily ruins (as we say blinded) your current night vision takes a few seconds to readjust. If it’s main beam then even worse.
Which can be the most “critical moment” when confronted with a situation.

From personal experience patrolling on the roads in a previous life, age has nothing to do with any of it.
I have worked with people who just couldn’t drive fast at night because they just couldn’t and we are talking about the age group of late 20’s-early 30’s.
Also from a previous previous life in the army “Night time vision” was paramount and would be ruined by bright light.

It’s just life, we are all different and should accept our conditions and capabilities. (We know some don’t of course and that’s the problem).
I believe the system for all drivers needs changing, where you should be given a mandatory “driving review/assessment” at certain intervals during your driving life cycle.
I had to every few years, so why not everyone else?

As people have commented on here, each individual knows their own capabilities and eye condition, eye sight tests and just do not and will not drive at night due to vision problems.

Please do not mention civil rights and all that tosh as it’s about the safety for all concerned.
Time for a cup of tea.
Just an opinion. :slightly_smiling_face: :+1:


I agree with all this, but the key point is that there will always be the irresponsible few that ignore their failing visual capacity and go ahead and drive anyway.

I’ve known a few, and the only reason they lived another decade or so is because their children took their (battered) cars away from them to hammer the point home.

The few wreck it for the rest of us.


I’am 6 years shy of that 70 renewal thankfully.
But that enemy creeps up far to fast for my liking. :+1:

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Given family history I expect our children will take both our cars and licenses away in about seven years, maybe sooner…
and not because of eyesight.

I had to with my father. The Alzheimers affected his perception of things, more so than physical changes. He accepted it, though from time totime, he thinks he will get better. The “hallucunations” can be quite vivid. He will see people, and they won’t be people he knows, and they just ignore him. I suspect most people will accept the results of an eye test, but the result of a Mini Mental could be a terminal diagnosis. That could be quite sobering and frightening. But the end might be 5 years away, it might be 20 years.


More accidents are caused by young, inexperienced drivers than by older ones. Young men are very prone to showing off, young women to inattention (huge generalisations, I know). But just look at the data! I had a huge crash at age 20 - just trying to corner too fast - now 51 years later I’m still doing motorsport - in an MX5.
I will accept being tested at regular intervals IF that applies to all drivers, irrespective of age…

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This is a “proposed” measure for over 70s with specific medical conditions. Nothing to get too hysterical about.

My own opinion is that this should apply to ANY age of driver if their health poses a risk to others.


I agree age is not the main issue it is surely ability and as others have said, statistically older drivers are safer/better drivers.
I have an eye test every year, I’m naturally short sighted and my optician says that as we age we become more long sighted, so my eyesight is improving with age, he says that when I get to 137 I will have 20/20 vision😂
In my past business I had to be assessed every 5 years to prove my competence, despite having HND in engineering related subjects, I would like every driver to have to prove their competence every 5 years.

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I drove my NC for the first time this year a couple of days ago. Since I drove it last I’ve had my eyes tested and had new glasses. It’s took me an age to get used to the new glasses, three visits to the opticians I’m still not happy but my eyes have gradually got use to the new lenses. They told me that it would take time and I’m ok with that.
Now getting in the NC as said has upset the vision again, I’m looking out from a different angle, I’m looking up more (seated lower) than I am in my daily driver. I wear varifocals it just seems weird again driving that looking at anything but straight on🙄