Should drivers over 75 be forced to take yearly fitness to drive checks? Have your say on Harriet Harman’s suggestion

Motorists should face annual checks to certify they’re fit to drive, according to suggestions made by senior Labour MP Harriet Harman at the end of last month.

Labour's Harriet Harman has suggested drivers over 75 should have a yearly fitness to drive test performed by their GP - what do you think?

Labour’s Harriet Harman has suggested drivers over 75 should have a yearly fitness to drive test performed by their GP – what do you think? Credit: Daisy-Daisy/Thinkstock & (inset) University of Salford Press Office

In her column for constituency paper, Southwark News, the London MP revealed she had raised the issue of tests with Transport Secretary Chris Grayling – talking about the possibility of GPs being given the job of certifying patients’ fitness to drive.

The former Leader of the Opposition suggested the test should be ‘simple and straightforward’ with the inclusion of an eye test.

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts about Ms Harman’s controversial suggestion of annual fitness to drive test. Comment on our Facebook post here or at the bottom of this page.

Age UK has slammed the call, claiming such testing could deter older people from driving “even when they are perfectly capable of continuing to do so”.


The British Medical Association’s contract and regulation chief went further, calling Harriet Harmen’s suggestion “one of the most bonkers things I’ve heard from a politician in many years and that really is quite some achievement.”

Ms Harman is campaigning on this issue in support of constituent Benjamin Brooks-Dutton, whose wife, Desreen, and young son, Jackson, were killed by an 85 year old driver who lost control and mounted the pavement.

Tell us what you think?

Comment on our Facebook post or at the bottom of this page. Do you think drivers over 75 should face a yearly fitness to drive test.

What’s the current law for driving aged 70+?

Currently, drivers who turn 70 will need to contact the DVLA to renew their driving licence. They will then need to do this at three-year intervals from then on.

Find out more here about driving after 70

26 comments for “Should drivers over 75 be forced to take yearly fitness to drive checks? Have your say on Harriet Harman’s suggestion

  1. John Jinks
    12/03/2018 at 5:01 pm

    Once again it is hit the motrest time.Whilst I would not object if all drivers were retested every few years I dont see why an over 70 SHOULD the worst drivers on the road are the 20-40’s along with some of the younger ploice drivers. It would be a good idear that all drivers had a medical to asses if they were sound enough to drive,like a pripot pilots licence.This would be attached to there licence and renewed at regular intervals.

  2. Rob Strong
    03/02/2018 at 11:14 pm

    I would be willing to take a voluntary test. At the driving test centre I was told that I would have to cancel my present licence and start again. I get an aquaintance who is a police driver with at “blue light” certificate to give me a driving check up. All OK so far. ( I am mid 80s)

  3. John
    21/01/2018 at 11:45 am

    I do not think that the over 75s should be retested but I do think that when reapplying for your licence over 70 you should send in an eye test report.

    I also think that anyone involved in any type of crash/incident/accident should have a mandatory eye sight test at the roadside carried out by the police just as you have to take a breath test.

  4. Janet Morris
    19/10/2017 at 5:13 pm

    No. Tests should not be required for over 75s.

  5. Tim Baker
    12/10/2017 at 5:07 pm

    No, tests would be discriminatory on the basis of age. You may as well say that anyone involved in an accident should be retested. Perhaps that would make all drivers take more care.

  6. Paul
    12/10/2017 at 10:15 am

    All things within reason, yearly would create a burden, but perhaps every three years along with a medical, and an addition that doctors should register with delamere anyone not meeting driving standards with things such as eyesight, stroke, epilepsy etc so they could be monitored more closely. Some older. People drive better than the young lets remember that.

    • Sandra
      12/10/2017 at 3:47 pm

      I am 74 years old, have my eyes tested every year, at the Opticians and a Paula Carr charity as I have type two diabetes. My eyes are perfectly okay. I have also recently been fitted with a cardiac pacemaker as I was suffering with a very slow heartbeat, I am safer on the road now than I was before, as apparently I could have blacked out at any time.

      • Nigel Gibbon
        25/11/2017 at 11:14 am

        The problem is Sandra most people are NOT like you.

  7. George Hutchinson
    12/10/2017 at 12:09 am

    Here We have yet another crackpot Labour MP without a Brain, The torys lost Their majority in parliament because they picked on OAPs by threatening to end pension pay lock not because of Brexit. All the OAPs that vote in her town should vote her out of her 74 thousand pound a year Job and We should all do it to all Labour MPs who are trying to get brexit stopped against the wishes of their Voters.

  8. Graham Kitchen
    11/10/2017 at 11:27 am

    Attack the older person, they wont mind they will just get on with things as usual, I don’t mind taking a retest at 75 as long as 25 year olds take one as well.

  9. Keith Lomas
    10/10/2017 at 2:41 pm

    Point 1: Statistics show that older people are safer and more considerate drivers, therefore to insist the they take competence tests is discrimination for the sake of it.
    Point 2: The scheme would be logistically and financially unsupportable – has it passed this woman by that there is a severe shortage of G.P’s, and those still in post are struggling to cope with the pressures of real illnesses.
    This is a bit of attention and publicity-grabbing fluff ,by a woman who thinks that as most older people do not vote for her party it is quite acceptable to insult them.

  10. Robert Beveridge
    10/10/2017 at 11:55 am

    Typical Harman and her Labour bullies, attacking the public again!!!!

  11. Michael Farnell
    10/10/2017 at 10:28 am

    Being over 75 I think that a GP should have to sign the renewal certificate each three year period, as lots of people will not admit either their eye sight or health is below par.

  12. B.Raper
    10/10/2017 at 7:14 am

    Young drivers have and cause more accidents than so called elderly drivers does she recommend yearly tests for them or is this just another money making gambit to get more money off the already overtaxed drivers.

  13. Scott Ashby
    10/10/2017 at 5:48 am

    Yes I believe 75s and over should be evaluated yearly for driving on the road. Call it “Road Competance & Safety Evaluation” cost it at £25-£40 for an hour. This fee is refunded if passed by the insurance provider.

    • Jon
      11/10/2017 at 12:35 pm

      And where do you think the insurance provider will get the money from?

  14. Fred
    09/10/2017 at 8:10 pm


  15. Norrie Pirie
    09/10/2017 at 8:05 pm

    Was the 85 year old in good health, did he have a medical record, was it ever establish what caused the him to mount the pavement? Maybe he took an instant heart attack which can happen to anyone including those in perfectly good health. I have known of two cases where the persons were in perfectly good health and died on the spot with a heart attack. I am definately not in favour of an medical MOT for drivers over 75 for the above reasons unless the driver in question has a serious medical history.

  16. M.Foster
    09/10/2017 at 5:58 pm

    Leave the old folks alone. To a lot of people it’s their only means of getting out. There are far more accidents with youngsters, it’s just that the old folks get more publicity.

  17. Dave Nye
    09/10/2017 at 5:41 pm

    The Harman woman never did know what she was talking about. I am a better driver than she is an MP. Maybe politicians should be tested regularly for sanity.
    One thing that I could agree is that every year there should be an eyesight test. As most over 70’s wear glasses anyway this would not be a hardship.

  18. John Kerry
    09/10/2017 at 4:27 pm

    What would be the responsibility of a GP if a driver they have certified as OK to drive is involved in an accident? GPs will surely be very cautious. The idea is worse than bonkers, Constraints are already adequate.

  19. B m sudbury
    09/10/2017 at 4:18 pm

    While it is tragic when injuries are suffered in an accident,why assume the age is a consideration.I now fined as I get older I am more carefull this a tippical headline grabbing nanny state Labour idear.

  20. Brian
    09/10/2017 at 2:37 pm

    Why should over 70’s be .subjected to this imposition because of one incident ? Perhaps Ms Harman would not be so keen to follow this line of publicising herself if (a) she was approaching 70 years or (b) she concentrated her attention to very much more important matters relating to this country at this moment !! Our thoughts go out to the relatives of the people involved but was she influenced by the double-barrelled name of the persons involved or more for her own personal publicity to show that she is actually doing something.

  21. M. Ajern
    09/10/2017 at 1:02 pm

    Yes I think all people over 75 yrs should be given a new kind of driving test. This would be a simple test of awareness of simple traffic situations and traffic signs.

    • Gerry
      06/11/2017 at 10:36 pm

      And 25 years and younger get re-tested every year. They have more accidents than any other age group

  22. Frank Black
    09/10/2017 at 11:19 am

    I live in a town where there are many retired people.most are fair drivers but a few should not be on the road.l asked a doctor why certain people were allowed to drive,he said he would not take their liberty away

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