A Nottingham pensioner has been driving for 75 years. He’s driven cars, motorbikes and even military tanks. But there’s one catch- he has never passed a driving test.
Maurice Argyle, 91, from Gedling has been driving for most of his life, at one point even being a motorcycle instructor in the army.
However, he has never taken a civilian driving test. Instead, like many men at the time, he was tested driving military vehicles in the army during his twenties.
VIDEO: Maurice explains why he’s still driving aged 91
Despite never having a full test, Maurice maintains he’s a competent driver, “there’s no difficulty at all, my reactions are good and I’d compare them to anybody else’s,” he says.
Maurice isn’t alone on the roads, with the highest number of elderly drivers than ever still behind the wheel.
VIDEO: Maurice looks back at his driving history
The number of over 90s has tipped over 100,000 for the first time, and there are almost five million drivers aged over 70.
With these figures set to rise with an ageing population, there are ideas to introduce a mandatory driving test when people reach 70.
The current laws for elderly drivers in the UK:
- Whilst there is no legal age to stop driving, licences automatically expire when a person reaches 70
- After 70, licences must be renewed every three years
- There is no requirement to have a medical or driving test to get a new license
- However, it is a legal obligation to declare the following health conditions to the DVLA: Parkinsons, epilepsy, dementia and any conditions that effect eyesight
- Sometimes the DVLA will require a driving assessment based on medical conditions
Source: Age UK
It stems from a petition started by Ben Brooks-Dutton, after his wife Desreen was killed in 2012 by an 85-year-old who mistook the accelerator for the brake.
To date, over 260,000 people have voted in favour of retesting.
I totally agree. I’m 73 and always worry whether my reactions are still good enough. Been banging on about it but nothing gets done.
— Marcia Malia (@Golfing_grannie) November 7, 2017
The idea of retesting has received support from the public, young and old
“I’ll keep driving until the end of my days”
Maurice Argyle, Elderly driver
Maurice believes over 70s should be retested to measure whether drivers are capable, “but not to determine whether they lose their driving license or not.”
AUDIO: Maurice’s son Paul explains when he’d tell his dad to stop driving
He is sure he would pass the driving test, and has no plans to stop driving any time soon, “I’ll keep driving until the end of my days,” he says.
However, it is often up to family or friends to tell an older driver when it’s time to stop driving.
Maurice’s son Paul says he would tell his dad if he thought his driving performance was getting worse.
“Not driving would change his life dramatically”
Paul Argyle, Maurice’s son
However, he knows how important driving is to Maurice, “if he couldn’t drive he’d be very disappointed and feel as though he’d lost his independence,”
“I think not driving would change his life dramatically.”
To see more of Maurice’s story and meet other elderly drivers, watch the full Retest the Retired documentary, coming out 22nd March.
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