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Older drivers won’t get penalty points for running red lights

A scheme enabling older motorists to avoid prosecution for careless driving should be rolled out across the UK, Government funded experts have recommended

The Older Drivers Task Force said that assessments of driving skills should be offered to all motorists aged 70 and above who are caught committing offences such as accidentally running a red light, unnecessarily slow driving, or poor motorway lane discipline.

Drivers are assessed by specially qualified occupational therapists and driving instructors.

When someone is found to be unsafe behind the wheel, a report is sent to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency who considers whether to revoke their licence.

In some cases, drivers are sent away to get lessons and offered a reassessment within three months.

Those being assessed would avoid the typical £100 fine and three penalty points for careless driving, which is also known as driving without due care and attention.

Rolling out Fitness to Drive assessments across the UK would help to reduce deaths and serious injuries among older drivers, the report stated.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “Allowing older drivers to remain mobile is critical to their mental and physical wellbeing, but so is safety.

“A system which helps people address their shortcomings rather than simply penalises them could help maintain this balance.

“Most older drivers are very safe and self-regulate their driving, avoiding travelling at night or during rush hour, for example.

“But any encouragement we can all be given to reassess our ability to drive safely should be welcomed, not just after an incident but throughout our driving lives.”

Other recommendations made by the task force include mandatory sight tests at licence renewals from the age of 70 and a programme to make T junctions safer.

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