Older drivers asked to reconsider “driving ability”

Police Assistant Commissioner under fire for comments about older drivers.

Older hands on steering wheel

According to statistics from the NSW Centre for Road Safety, there has been a 20 per cent spike in the number of road deaths amongst drivers over 70.

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner and head of traffic, John Hartley, claims that older drivers are two-and-a-half times as likely to be killed in an accident.

He also said that older drivers were likely to have trouble keeping their car centred inside a lane and were more likely to roll through red lights or stop signs, as well as reverse into and over things.

“It is these issues that put older drivers, their passengers, and other road users at great risk,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“Personal responsibility is the key to keeping us all safe on NSW roads. Don’t wait until you’re involved in a near miss, or a crash, to reconsider your driving ability,” Assistant Commissioner Hartley said.

However, Assistant Commissioner Hartley has since come under fire by seniors groups, who have labelled his comments as “incomprehensible”.

Paul Versteege, policy officer for Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, said that Mr Hartley’s comments added more salt to wound for older drivers, who already have “draconian” safety policies enforced on them, through medical and licence eligibility testing.

Mr Versteege claimed that older drivers were more likely to be seriously injured or killed in road accidents “because they become more frail, not because they are worse drivers.”

“It’s not just a simple question of whether they are more dangerous, it comes down to driving ability. It’s incomprehensible that [Assistant Commissioner] Hartley would use the age of 70 as the age where people need to be very cautious. We would argue that any age is an age to be cautious,” he said.

In NSW, drivers over 75 must submit to annual medical testing. NSW is also the only state where drivers over 85 are required to retake licence tests every two years.

Read more at theguardian.com.au

Read more at dailytelegraph.com.au

Opinion: Mandatory retesting a good measure

When we begin talking about high-risk groups on the road, it’s all too easy to fall into stereotyping. Young, old and in between, our society loves to pigeon-hole people into groups of ‘bad drivers’.

Yes, there are statistics that reveal that drivers over 70 account for 22 per cent of road fatalities, and men are more likely than women to be killed or injured in driving accidents. However, we can’t just fall back on the defence that some driving groups are worse than others; this is neither fair nor helpful.

We can’t afford to be precious about hurting the feelings of people who may feel like their driving ability is being unfairly put to question. Mandatory retesting is not about needlessly subjecting people to annoying protocol, it’s about ensuring the safety of Australians on the road and preventing pointless road injuries and fatalities. These preventive measures should be enacted across the board for all Australians, regardless.

I’m in support of mandatory retesting of high-risk groups. It is my belief that medical and licence testing is as important for younger drivers (such as anyone in their first two to three years of driving), as it is for older drivers.

The focus should always be on the individual’s ability to conduct themselves safely and responsibly on the road, both for theirs and everyone else’s safety.  

What do you think? Are the Assistant Commissioner’s comments unfair to older drivers? Are you in support of mandatory retesting for all high-risk groups? Have you experienced retesting protocol? 





    COMMENTS

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    ray from Bondi
    7th Jan 2016
    9:15am
    the government cant fix the road congestion problems, our masters must have had a brainstorm while drinking the expensive port at our expense, and decided they can remove 10% of the cars by taking the licences of anybody over 70. if there are 10 driver who have trouble one year then 15 next year that is a 50% increase and a great excuse to bring in draconian nanny state laws. just how many are they talking about when an increase in percentage is mentioned, I smell something fish and it smells like a bunch of politicians talking.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    10:24am
    Yes ray from Bondi, I too would like to see the actual numbers.
    KSS
    7th Jan 2016
    12:22pm
    I can help you out with numbers ray from Bondi and Barak:

    Data from the NSW Centre for Road Safety shows 60 drivers or motorcyclists aged over 70- were involved in fatal crashes in 2015, an increase of five on 2014 figures.

    Overall there were 76 fatalities, including drivers and pedestrians, who were over 70 in that year - an increase of 16 compared with 2014.

    By my reckoning, based on these figures fatal crashes by drivers or riders over 70 increased by 5. Fatal pedestrian fatalities in the over 70s increased by 11. Let's ban pedestrians!

    And using the same logic, statistically the under 25s have the highest fatality rates so why not ban holding a driving license until the age of 26!
    Robin7
    7th Jan 2016
    12:51pm
    and what impact has NSW's mandatory medical testing for over 75's and license tests for over 85's actually had on the statistics compared to Victoria, SA or Queensland?.
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    12:57pm
    For every 1 person killed on the roads another 14 seriously injured ! They say we have too many disabled ...blame the victim of course. We have less than other USA UK countries.

    I think of the young boy 12 or 16 now with brain damage/wheelchair because a 91 yr. old hit the accelerator not the brake ?? unfair as 90 yr. old had his life. Get a l/2 price taxi card, a mobility scooter, councils now do and take elderly shopping trips which are also social outings to boot.
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    1:23pm
    The figures were 18-25 yr olds worst. Then not too bad until 70 then that older driver figure for deaths/accidents/injury rises to more than double that of 18-25 yr. olds.

    I sold car gave away driving as artheritis was getting to me and I am few yrs. off 70.

    As a now mobility scooter rider I agree with the police figures on over 70's as I come across the problems every day I ride to the shops. Not stopping at lights, nor on red light. Not stopping going round corner when I am on cross walk, not giving way to pedestrians when turning off a highway or main road (forgotten right of way?) Telling me I am not allowed on a side road when there is a rubbish bin or parked car on the footpath. Not realising their 5 hours with drinks at Bingo are sozzling the reflexes. Thinking its OK they will get through the red light. 85 year old visitor to his daughter across the road often hits my gate and naturestrip tree drives off (artheritis) so put a rubbish bin there in front. He has dints all over his car. He cannot walk 5 houses from his place to hers something wrong. Mobility scooter needed.
    Giles
    7th Jan 2016
    9:24am
    In 1960 I was driving my father’s Jag on the Autobahns in Germany. I terrified my poor parents. On one sector I drove from Saltsburg to Munich in just under an hour; that’s an average speed of 100 mph (161 kph), and that included a stop at the Austrian-German border. But I was a good boy and I don’t recall too many cars passing me.
    Move the clock forward to the 1980s driving a Toyota Tarago with my wife and four children. I was terrified! What I hadn’t taken on board when I was young was the impact on other drivers. My first fright was when I changed lane having looked in the mirror a few seconds earlier when there wasn’t anther vehicle in sight for at least a kilometre. He just came out of nowhere, like a bullet. I reckon that he was travelling at least twice my speed. You're just not used to that on a speed-limited road.
    And a few years later my son gave me a demonstration of fast, safe driving in the dark on narrow roads before we joined the same Autobahn in the other direction. It was a good lesson. I realised then that my sight and concentration had deteriorated with age. And they continue to deteriorate, but at 76 I am at least painfully aware of it now.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:24am
    So true. Remember also that the Autobahns are built for speed, although it is terrifying when you look in the mirror and see a car a long way back and then 5 seconds later he is flying past you. There is a real feeling of an accident waiting to happen.
    We all slow down with age. Common sense dictates that!
    maelcolium
    7th Jan 2016
    9:32am
    Why are we surprised in this society of fear driven politics that police join in the barracking to clamp down on whom they perceive to be vulnarable sectors? And I've heard of these statistics, but where are they presented for independent scrutiny. I can produce statistics to prove anything you would like me to prove by numberwanging the data - just look at what the ABS does!
    In this society we exoect to be treated as equals. The NSW police don't get this and should be reminded they are there to serve society as a whole and not some over zealous egg headhead.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:30am
    Do you ever see the repetitive news accounts of older drivers who drive off multi-storey carparks? Or the ones who drive into shops? Or the ones who hit whole rows of parked cars? And that is before the stories about head-ons involving older drivers.
    You have to face the facts maelcolium: older drivers, like those< 30 years of age are an accident waiting to happen.
    Whilst I am still quite capable of driving (I know what is happening around me at all times) many older folk aren't. There is a guy who visits my neighbour who bumps into the retaining wall every other time he comes, who leaves his car door open for hours on end and who stands at the tap for maybe 20 minutes clearly wondering what he is there to do. THIS GUY SHOULD NOT BE ON THE ROAD.....but he is!!! I do support some form of testing. Common sense, not discrimination of any sort.
    CowboyJoe
    7th Jan 2016
    12:36pm
    maelcolium highlights a genuine issue in "the Freest Country in the World" or what passes for such in our cultural mythology.

    Populism is only a dirty word when the media use it to denigrate someone who holds a view 1 degree right of leftist ideology. But the media is most happy to promulgate any populist view if it matches up with their love for governmental control.

    If the increased accident rate for older drives is actualy real, the insurance companies will significantly raise insurance premiums. The marketplace will react with fewer senior drivers.

    Older drivers probably need to drive more to maintain skill.
    An advertising campaign could motivate those with a genuine problem to give up their license.

    Testing if fine as long as the test is not designed to entrap individuals.
    Robin7
    7th Jan 2016
    12:54pm
    Raw Data for Jan to November 2015 in an excel spreadsheet.
    Australian Road Deaths Database
    https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/safety/fatal_road_crash_database.aspx
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    9:45pm
    Cannot disagree with that view Cowboy. Perhaps seniors on this site need to fess up how much they pay in insurance. Might tell a tale!
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    1:08pm
    Agree Mick. Am now saving $600 in car service (always found something extra on my 10 yr old toyota) Rego $ 370 plus 3rd party insurance $400 petrol $10-20 per week $500+ .....adds up. Could'nt get parking at specialists offices, or had to pay exorbitant parking prices. Taxi now drops me at front door. Taxi uses the side/bus/fast lane into city to my specialist...was taking me one + l/2 hrs.to drive (real dangerous on East Link when it rains for an older driver not driving this way each day/week) taxi makes it in 45 minutes = petrol savings.
    cockrone
    7th Jan 2016
    9:47am
    Surely everybody should 'reconsider' their driving skills - I would not mind having my driving skills tested at any time - if poor or dangerous, I would want to know and be ready to change my driving habits.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:31am
    Ditto. And not drive at all if we thought that we might kill somebody because of loss of ability to drive safely.
    ex PS
    7th Jan 2016
    1:26pm
    Statistics are comisioned by organisations in order to prove a certain point of view, no doubt these same statistics could be manipulated to prove the opposite point of view if given to the right people.
    I note that the numbers quoted only state that the bracketed age group died as a result of traffic accidents, it does not state that these people caused the accident or were diretly involved in behaviour that contributed to the accident.
    It's academic anyway, if society wants to take the advantage of having freedom of movement away from a certain section within the community and the reason for this is to benefit society as a whole, surely they would be willing to contribute to the solution.
    I have been driving for 42 years, for some of that time I drove trucks for a living. I have voluntarily modified my activities because I have noticed that my skills have deteriortated in the last few yeras. I now avoid driving at night especially when it is raining asflexs are not as they were.
    I do not live in a city and can not rely on public transport from my door. If I became a danger to others sharing the roads I would like to be able to surrender my license volunterily, and would probably do so if the people calling for this to happen would be willing to help with my transportation problems.
    I think that if a license is taken from a person for the good of the community, the community should provide an alternative transport solution to that person in the form of cab vouchers, bus/train concessions and other forms of access to public transport. If the government is only concerned with the safety of the public surely this would not be too much to ask?
    mossie
    7th Jan 2016
    10:03am
    Regarding the over 70 drivers. I am 78and have been driving since 1960, with all this talk going on about the older drivers I decided to have an assessment by a driving school instructor we went for an hours drive through Toowoomba's CBD into shopping center car parks and around construction area's all this in a car that I had never driven before.
    I was given a pass with no problems. I did this to prove to myself that I was not a danger on the road.I fully agree to regular mandatory driver testing. I have heard commens like "oh I can't reverse park for the life of me" Then how the hell do they have a licence.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:32am
    Good for you mossie. Well done.
    petes2506
    7th Jan 2016
    10:04am
    All these random testing shows there are considerable number of younger drivers driving under the influence of illegal drugs.
    If you think about it seasons of people that are driving besides your family is on the highway and also be on coming traffic on the highway.
    I only have to look at the horrendous way that younger driver's wrap their cars around trees and posts to understand where the real problem lies.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:33am
    I agree fully but the discussion is about OLDER DRIVERS. Let's not avoid the issue.
    particolor
    7th Jan 2016
    3:31pm
    And take Old drivers out !! the Older driver gets the blame and Statistic applied !! :-(
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:51pm
    No parti. The numbers are the numbers are the numbers. Its how they are put together which is often at fault. AS I have said several times below I believe the numbers are (intentionally) misrepresented.
    petes2506
    7th Jan 2016
    10:09am
    I'll have to stop using speech to text
    bob
    7th Jan 2016
    10:11am
    22% OVER 70s deaths !That means that 78% of road deaths are under 70,should they not look at the higher figure.While thinking that this is just another pacifier from those that collecting money is more important to than flying the flag .But i do agree that some older drivers should re-evaluate their perception of their own skills
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:35am
    Misleading use of statistics methinks! Better to look at the percentage of drivers in the age group. That makes sense and gives a real view of whether or not the over 80s are better or worse than the rest of society.
    TREBOR
    7th Jan 2016
    11:19am
    How many of these over-70 road deaths are of passengers? Generalised whumping with words is meaningless.... show me the figures of road deaths attributable to 70+ drivers...
    ex PS
    7th Jan 2016
    1:37pm
    mick, do you really think that the people who commisioned this report did not have the figures manipulated to prove a certain point of view?
    I am probably misquoting someone, but who said "there are lies, dammed lies and there are statistics"?
    I tend to agree with TREBOR, I saw an interview this morning that pointed out that the numbers in question actually related to the people who died but did not necessarily relate to people who contributed to the accidents involved.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:54pm
    That is exactly what I an saying ex PS. Thanks for using the quote I often employ.
    Read the example I gave below. Whilst you are correct with not counting deaths from non drivers the more damning misuse is that the percentages are the fractions of all drivers but should be the fraction of the number of drivers in the group.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    5:53pm
    I have to agree with Trebor, we are never given separate figures for drivers and passengers. Some are more prone to death simply because as we age our bones fracture, some of which result in death which may not happen for a few months.
    I know of one case where an elderly lady pedestrian was hit by an out of control car (driven by a teenager)while walking on the footpath the footpath and pinned onto a corrugated iron fence. She had so many broken bones it is a miracle she lived as long as she did. Last time I passed by the fence still had the dents in it.
    Sen.Cit.90
    7th Jan 2016
    10:17am
    Copied and pasted from above:
    Yes, there are statistics that reveal that drivers over 70 account for 22 per cent of road fatalities, and men are more likely than women to be killed or injured in driving accidents. However, we can’t just fall back on the defence that some driving groups are worse than others; this is neither fair nor helpful.
    Then I can presume the other 82% are under the age of 70?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:36am
    Amelia needs to use statistics which relate to the group rather than the overall population. This sort of figure is misleading!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:21am
    You say that "there has been a 20 per cent spike in the number of road deaths amongst drivers over 70." Is that that year on year or decade on decade Amelia? One does have to remember that the baby boomer group is increasing the size of over 70s so one might expect that a larger group might give more fatalities but the actual percentage may be unchanged. Please explain!
    Warren Gibson
    7th Jan 2016
    10:22am
    Hartley is the one who should be tested. I think he suffers from a severe lack of common sense to make such ridiculous statements. This is likely leading to some new form of revenue raising I suspect. If government and police are responsible for issuing licenses they should be responsible for ensuring driver education, but they are not. Instructors teach their students just enough to pass the driving test and the rest is learned facts in a multiple choice exam. Practical teaching and driving skills in real world situations doesn't exist yet they want to fine people for the most minor infractions - proof that road safety is not the point, revenue raising is. Some seniors may have slower reactions but their experience and common sense more than compensates. Take a good look in the mirror Hartley and fix the problem, or make way for someone who can.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:37am
    Avoiding the 'me' issue never helps.

    7th Jan 2016
    10:23am
    Not long ago a now departed but also now very wealthy Federal Treasurer was telling us we should all work until we are 70. It seems to be a magic number these days.

    And such precise numbers are silly. Obviously what matters is ability. Happy to have mine tested, but I'm not going to spend a heap of MY money on it.
    particolor
    7th Jan 2016
    10:33am
    Someone in there still reads the Bible ! :-) And doesn't Get Spooked Senseless by Barbarians !..:-)
    "A Man shall live for 3 Score Years and 10 !! =70"
    And apparently that is interpreted as ..
    Thou shalt hang Your car keys on the hook and go away and Die ?? :-(
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:42am
    This issue is CAN YOU STILL DO IT WITHOUT KILLING SOMEBODY? If you know you are as crook as a chook cooked last week then please hang up your keys rather than look after number 1. I will be when the day comes.
    MITZY
    7th Jan 2016
    11:39am
    My father-in-law passed away at age 91 fifteen years ago. He started driving when he was 12 around the paddocks of the family home on anything with two or four wheels. He kept driving all his life, never had an accident or traffic infringement. Kept going for his medicals and driving tests until he was 90 when he passed both with the instructor saying you'll be doing it until your 100 at least. However, at 90 he said, no I don't think so, I'm pleased I've passed once again, but the effort is getting too much for me and I know it is time to stop. I have been lucky to be driving from a young age and I'm now 74 with an impeccable record too. I'm not suffering from any ailments and am willing to be tested at any time. I insist on any passengers travelling with me they don't distract me with idle chatter or the like. To me there is more problems with people driving after drinking, taking drugs and playing loud music blasting their brains out, than the elder citizen. I wonder what Assistant Commissioner Hartley's response will be when he reaches 70?
    Sen.Cit.90
    7th Jan 2016
    10:24am
    Some time ago I read figures from the RACQ stating 23% of accidents were from drivers in the senior age group. On these figures, it is clear that the other 77% were younger drivers??? Why do younger bastards continue to slight the aged. I promise the world that when I feel my age is impairing my driving I will hand in my licence.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:48am
    It is hypocrisy. I see the young bucks on the road every other day. Red P plates and speeding. Just got the license and often no indicators to let other motorists know they are turning.
    Whilst I am of the opinion that younger (bad) drivers need to lose their licenses for 2 years minimum if they show really bad driving habits I also think that older drivers should not be exempt. If you can't pass a basic and easier driving test once every 5 years then that should be it. No exceptions no matter who you are.
    Pablo
    7th Jan 2016
    10:25am
    I am so sick and tired of the elderly being blamed for everything these days. Without fail, the worst driving incidents involve the young and stupid, yet no-one blames them. Maybe we should all move to China where they value their elderly and their knowledge rather than staying in a country where it's always our fault! The elderly really need political representation to stand up for us when these stupid politicians and public servants go on their age discrimination way!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:51am
    Where the true FACTS are concerned it is not age discrimination.
    GoldenOldie
    7th Jan 2016
    10:59am
    Having just returned from China I would not recommend moving there for the sake of better driving, by young or old!! The traffic there is horrendous and there seems to be no notion of road rules. Just saying...
    Hawkeye
    7th Jan 2016
    11:51am
    Pablo, if you moved to China, you really wouldn't want to drive.
    There seems to be no rules, no speed limits, no traffic police, no fines, just absolute chaos.
    BUT THERE ARE NO ACCIDENTS because;
    a. the roads are very good, and
    b. the drivers are very courteous to each other.
    So their system works and saves lives and countless injuries.
    Compare that to our system that kills and maims in order to raise revenue.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:56pm
    You mean they actually have 'road rules' in India and China? What for? They don't have a legal system do they?
    Buggsie
    7th Jan 2016
    10:25am
    There are lies,damned lies and statistics. The way the current road toll stats are being compiled is designed to confuse and to support a political position re so called 'older drivers" in NSW that is not supported by any other State in Australia. For example, the stats of road deaths in the over 70 age group include passengers over 70 no matter the age of the driver of the vehicle and also pedestrian deaths of over 70's no matter the age of the driver involved.
    Age discrimination at its worst! OK for me to continue working over 70 but not OK to drive to work? I don't think so. PAC Hartley is in a word, stupid. Barry from Cedar Party
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:54am
    Agreed. The figures need to be THE PERCENTAGE of drivers over 70 who cause deaths compared to the over 70s age group.....NOT AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE WHOLE POPULATION. There lies the deceit!
    maxchugg
    10th Jan 2016
    12:34pm
    Spot on, Buggsie. You can prove anything with statistics, particularly if you use them selectively.
    But there is a world of difference between statistics and reality, as demonstrated by car insurance. If older drivers are over represented in accidents, why do older drivers qualify for special discounts because of their age?
    And how about motorcycles? Depending on where you check, you find that around motor cycles represent around 4% of registered vehicles but 17% of accidents.
    The excuse, is always the same, cars don't give way to them. Try telling that to most car drivers who, while travelling at the maximum legal speed are left in the dust by motorcycles. Also, those who have to deal with motorcycles weaving in and out of slow moving traffic.
    Finally, every insurance certificate issued to a motorcycle is heavily subsidized by car drivers. If insurance premiums were priced at the average cost plus a margin of profit, motorcycles would vanish.
    Anonymous
    10th Jan 2016
    1:29pm
    I worked in the car insurance industry once. That last paragraph certainly wasn't the case in the 1980s.
    Adrianus
    10th Jan 2016
    1:40pm
    If that's the case Barak, then please confirm for me if you will, that Victorian drivers are the worst in the country??
    maxchugg
    10th Jan 2016
    6:28pm
    Here's a quote from the MAIB site in Tasmania:

    “Unfortunately, even after excluding claims where the motorcyclist was not at fault, the costs relating to motor cycle
    accidents continue to exceed the premiums collected.
    Fiona
    7th Jan 2016
    10:34am
    Around our area we reckon the government must have a program to test our reflexes and prevent alzheimers.
    We have the confirmers instead of indicators who flick on the indicator as they turn-really exciting if you are turning at a roundabout, the ones who do indicate left but come right, the ones who toot when you are waiting for the road to clear so that you can turn.
    Then there are the ones who wait at a side street till you are just about there and decide to come out.
    Perhaps the most scary is when you swing into the entrance lane at a shopping centre and someone comes down your side.
    What is strange is that not one is one of the dreaded oldies.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:55am
    Many are on their Ps. Have this sort of stuff often happen.
    Wstaton
    7th Jan 2016
    11:20am
    Yes I have often thought those who turn their left indicator on just as they reach the turn was to tell the car to turn left. Never seemed to work for me though I still had to turn the wheel.
    TREBOR
    7th Jan 2016
    3:12pm
    When entering a roundabout and traveling beyond the first left turn out of it, you must use you right hand indicator to show you are continuing into the roundabout, and then indicate left when you are exiting.

    That's what the book says. Doesn't give you much time and certainly doesn't give you 30m of advance indication.
    KSS
    7th Jan 2016
    3:26pm
    trebor, so is that why almost no-one actually on the roundabout bothers to indicate anything at all from any lane; whilst others sit at the entry (often at all entries) waiting to 'go' resulting in no-one actually doing anything?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    5:01pm
    Nothing more annoying than somebody who does not indicate on a Roundabout and then goes around it whilst you assume they are going straight ahead and take off..........and are almost hit by the non indicator who then is offended that you did not give way.
    particolor
    10th Jan 2016
    1:25pm
    I use the Give Way, LEFT RIGHT And CENTRE Rule Mick !! Been driving for 54 Years and never even had as much a Parking Fine !!
    Beat That !! :-)
    Adrianus
    10th Jan 2016
    1:38pm
    better than me parti, but since I have had a few accidents I have become a much better driver.
    Allow me to test your driving skill?
    Do you know what to do after an accident???
    particolor
    10th Jan 2016
    2:36pm
    Only if I didn't get Killed !
    particolor
    10th Jan 2016
    2:39pm
    And if its Mooslim that prangs into you ! RUN LIKE THE CLAPPERS !! :-(
    phantom
    7th Jan 2016
    10:35am
    I believe every TEN years everyone should do the written test. The rules change all the time and to keep all of us need to redo the test. Half the people don't know the rules of a round a bout the other half don't know what a blinker does. As for us oldies the statists don't mention who was in the right. The most common mistake for oldies being in the wrong lately is confusion between the brake and accelerator in car parks. Other than that we are normally careful drivers.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:56am
    Practical test better.
    Idontforget
    7th Jan 2016
    10:36am
    Just like all statistics, they can be warped, bent or rearranged to suite a particular agenda. Why not give pure straight numbers that also include specific figures, whether driver, passenger and most importantly, who was found responsible for the accident and let us, the public who are being led around by the nose, apply the percentages.

    And on the subject of an annual medical tests for drivers over seventy five, it is interesting to note that private pilots over that age are only required to have a medical test every two years. It would be very interesting to hear the bureaucratic or political explanation for that. But, don't hold your breath waiting for this to happen.
    phantom
    7th Jan 2016
    10:37am
    Every ten years everyone should redo the written test. No matter what age, the rules change all the time. Stuff this just picking on the oldies.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    10:48am
    Have to agree with that idea.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:59am
    Try a driving test. I am a great driver (seriously) but might not do that well on practical unless I study up. That does not mean that I am in danger of causing an accident. Wierd as that might seem I drive in Colorado, have no idea of the different rules but am equally safe as my philosophy is defensive driving and trying to work out what the other guy is going to do rather than asserting my 'rights' on the road.
    PlanB
    7th Jan 2016
    11:49am
    Yes defensive driving is the way -- I always taught hope for the best but Expect the worst
    Oldtroll
    7th Jan 2016
    10:42am
    Here we go again. In this day and age we have to knock someone! So this 'Senior' police officer has decided to shoot from the hip and make a name for himself. He should have thought for a moment, but there again maybe he thought he was next to God at the time he came out with a statement that all older drivers really need to be driven off the road. All I can say in my defence officer and I am innocent until proven guilty we must remember that, I am in my late 60s. I would recon driving for at least another 15 years or more. Much like others of my age I have been driving for just over 50 years. I personally have driven just about most types of vehicles and machinery, in most variable conditions and weathers all over the globe. As far as my personal driving capabilities are, at the moment, they are well above average. there are some on our roads that need either to be taken off or re educated. I am up for reeducating such to make them safer. Now that is not only for us oldies but also for those young P platers and for those who have got into bad and dangerous habits.....or maybe just a bad attitude!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:00am
    I think that Hartley just said that older drivers needed to think about their ability and whether or not they should still be driving. I for one agree with that position. SOME older drivers should not be behind the wheel no matter how bruised their egos may be. Just obvious to all around them!
    CowboyJoe
    7th Jan 2016
    12:42pm
    In public service land, it is known as building up the Curriculum Vitae.

    This officer is just more brazen, that is why he is a Senior Officer.

    7th Jan 2016
    10:45am
    Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Statistics can show trends, but if a person is tested on actual conditions and proves they are able to perform specific tasks or duties they should be allowed to do so. Yes, older people are more likely to be injured or be fatalities in road accidents, but a lot of severity of injuries is due to age with lesser resilience to recovery. As the law stands now in Queensland drivers are tested yearly after turning 75 y.o. Which I think is a good and fair practice.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    10:48am
    Who pays for the test?

    How much?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:14am
    Which statistics? That is the question.
    Who do you think should pay for the test? Not the state! Fair enough.
    Polly Esther
    7th Jan 2016
    11:43am
    Yes Eddie, very sensible thoughts and I stand behind you on everything you said.
    I have often thought I wouldn't mind having to do the 'driving' test every year or two, as long as I didn't have to pay for it myself.
    LOL about that, I'm not usually a mean biddy over things, but.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    11:59am
    The exam is a done by a qualified GP and is no more than a medical certificate stating the GP finds you medically capable to hold a valid driver's licence for the next 12 months when the certificate must be renewed. Payment? If the GP bulk bills you have no payment to make. Does this make it more lucid to all? Happy motoring.
    particolor
    8th Jan 2016
    7:00pm
    Old Drivers will now be Examined by Drone !!
    Health & Safety.. :-)
    Idontforget
    7th Jan 2016
    10:46am
    Or maybe Mr. Hartley is suffering from MDS (Media Deprivation Syndrome) and he had to come up with something outlandish in front of the cameras to treat it.
    Hasbeen
    7th Jan 2016
    10:49am
    This peanut has got off message.
    All the noise about road safety is supposed to be about the danger of speed, so they can boost the states income with ridiculous speeding fines, for going a few kilometres over the limit. It is not supposed to be about taking oldies, or anyone else off the road. We wont be paying ridiculously high registration fees, if we aren't allowed to drive.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    10:50am
    Speeding fines are a voluntary tax I choose to avoid. Why don't you?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:15am
    This issue is not about revenue. It is about reducing statistics.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    11:59am
    Anyone who thinks speeding fines are simply revenue raising should probably lose their licence.
    JAID
    7th Jan 2016
    10:50am
    Certainly we should consider the suitability of our skill sets to purpose in any area. Occasional testing is OK too.

    It has become cloudy for Australians but laws will not prevent every occurance we may fear or hope to avoid. Our capabilities change with age, knowledge, experience and the will to consider or learn, while there may be some commonality there is wide latitude for a reasonable equality of outcome and there is even reason to believe that equality of risk need not be a primary objective.

    Risk may be attracted on average to the ages, young, old, menopausal or whatever but these are averages. We intend a free society and where we curtail the potential of some based on averages rather than their capability we do not respect that quality. Too, we all learn in different ways and times, have different highs and lows, different reliance on vehicles and even the propensity for calamity varies despite the similarity of some factors.

    Better we attempt to arm people with the capacity for fearless assessment of themselves than, in the face of the wide range of causes and effects involved, to think we can reliably prescribe one treatment for all.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:16am
    And better to give Dracula the keys to the bloodbank. Voluntary assessment is about as useless and 'ti*s' on a bull.
    LiveItUp
    7th Jan 2016
    10:53am
    There are statistics and statistics.

    20% increase on what? 20% increase on a low figure is still a low figure.

    Statistics also tell us people are living longer so more older people will be on our roads so statistically more will be killed.

    Take same number of younger and older people injured then just by the makeup of our bodies more younger people will survive than older ones.

    Every time I see someone doing something stupid on our roads these days there seems to be a green "P" visible on that vehicle. If this most likely younger driver hits a car driven by older driver and that older driver dies that death is counted in these statistics. Older driver may not have been at fault.

    So are these statistics just being used to make it harder for older drivers to stay on our roads?

    If this is the case why was I given a 50% discount for being a good driver last month when I renewed my licence?

    I noticed also that my insurance policy renewal price decreased and to sum insured on my car increased too. If older drivers are a risk why is this so?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:19am
    I agree with you Bonny. The statistics have been misused from what I can see. The only statistic which has meaning is the number of fatalities over 70 as a PERCENTAGE of that group. And then compare to all other groups. That way you compare apples with apples.
    Abby
    10th Jan 2016
    10:34am
    Well said Bonny
    MarLin
    7th Jan 2016
    10:54am
    Conspiracy theories aside, it's more than 50 years since I passed a driving test for my licence (not counting more recent tests overseas - but those road rules are different to ours so don't count in this discussion). In those 50 years, we've seen the advent of computers, smart phones, kids who can't count without an electronic calculator, etc etc - in other words, we're now living in a vastly different world to 50 years ago. And even if the road rules haven't changed in that time (they have!), we're sharing the road with people who look at life quite differently and are therefore almost certain to react differently to various "instant decision required" situations that arise for all road users from time to time. For that reason alone, I'd be happy to be tested and "re-evaluated" any time - in fact, I'd welcome it. But I'd suggest that the "over 70s" idea be dumped immediately, and let's talk instead about "high risk groups" regardless of age, ie younger (more inexperienced) drivers, drivers with more than x number of DUI charges, drivers who "upgrade" from small and/or manual cars to bigger and/or automatic "tanks", and then perhaps we can also introduce a mandatory driving test for everyone who applies for an age pension. On the other hand, maybe they should ask everyone who applies for an age pension to sell their car and hand in their driving licence - with the justification being that if you can afford a car you surely don't need gov't support (shades of smokin' Joe!). OK, OK - I'm joking (sort of), but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if someone in our esteemed gov't isn't already thinking along those lines...
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:27am
    Over 70s is a high risk group. Over 80s even more so. Certainly other groups need more attention as well. That is what responsible governments do, but sadly that is something we seem not to have a lot of any more.
    Kali-G
    7th Jan 2016
    10:56am
    This sounds like a "de ja vue" from the Gestapo handbook .....????
    How dare these wankers suggest in this days and age that we are not capable handling the safest cars ever made!!!
    The cops should deal with drug dealers, addicts, murderers, criminals, crooked trade unions, politicians and so on etc...instead doing Orwellian selective punishment.
    I have no respect any more for those whom supposed to guard us!!!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:28am
    Fobbing off the issue does not make it go away. Nor does it stop older (incapable) drivers from killing themselves and others or ending up on TV after they drive off multi storey carparks and the like.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    6:04pm
    Mick, what about all the younger ones who drive off the ends of buildings, devour around and pass road closed signs--,there has been a few young ones in Adelaide-- neither does it stop younger ones bashing other Car Park users unconscious because they suspect they have been spotted breaking into a car. Thank you to the media for filming the victim being put in the ambulance and showing on the TV news before the Police and Hospital have been able to get ID to notify next-of- kin. The patient had head injuries and several broken bones. (Yes I know the victim and a relative of his).
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    9:50pm
    Have not heard of any younger drivers driving off the ends of buildings. That pleasure seems to belong to the aged. Sorry. But not saying that under 25s are good drivers. Some are but many speed and are not.
    LiveItUp
    7th Jan 2016
    10:56am
    Road rules need to change to be consistent in all states of Australia. I live just south of a border and I know some things are acceptable in my state but not in the bordering state and vice versa.

    Registration fees and regulations also need to be consistent from state to state.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:34am
    Agree.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    3:26pm
    Centrelink regulations aren't even the same from state to state, so if you expect ANYTHING to be consistent, except for federal legislation, you are truly dreaming.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    6:08pm
    Some rules are national. e.g. Parking rules are national, speed regulation laws are the same in every state - signs are uniform nation wide. Some laws listed as Local Traffic Act are actually national - no, it doesn't make sense calling them Local Govt Act but they do. That's Governments who can't get their act in gear.
    PlanB
    7th Jan 2016
    10:57am
    I have been driving for 63 years WITH a license but maybe an extra5 or more years b4 that in paddocks with all sorts of cars and small trucks, I have never had a booking -- I also taught driving and held a heavy Rigid license -- till I gave that one up 2 years ago, I only hld a light ridgid now.
    I have a medical every year and I keep up with the road rules, I take great pride in my driving. I have been told by a high level policeman friend that I am an excellent driver but I have no beef if I have to do a driving test and I will have to in a few years.
    I say do not judge the AGE judge the history of the person, that would be VERY easy to do.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    11:36am
    Agreed....but not all of us will acknowledge that we should not be behind the wheel any more. Hence the need to test. It is not discrimination, just common sense and social responsibility.
    TREBOR
    7th Jan 2016
    11:08am
    I noticed that yesterday when the young P-plater in the ute howled into the car park at the supermarket ..... silly old buggars don't know how to stay out of the way.....

    I will agree that some older drivers are off with the galahs when it comes to driving, but then so are a lot of other people not even in that age group. We're enduring the annual Mexican rush from Malbun at the moment, and there are some doozies in them. Double lines = automatic U-turn... right lane in double lanes is an exclusive right .... No Stopping signs are optional, as are indicators...... not too many seventy year olds amongst them, either.

    I've long stated that a full re-test should be yearly for three years after gaining licence, then every five years. That way we might see some of the obviously incompetent weeded out instead of taking the car out once a week for a jaunt and being considered 'good drivers' since they never actually hit anyone.. often anyway.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:04pm
    I think that the issue with older people is that they gradually lose their ability to understand what is happening around them and the ability to react both in time and appropriately. I do not see older speeders....and I live in a high retiree place.
    Testing is fine but given experience tests need to be a bit more basic rather than the 'wringer'. Lets face it many of us may fail a full blown test but are great drivers with a long record of no accidents.
    RJ
    7th Jan 2016
    11:11am
    Makes a mockery of the Federal Governments plans for the retiring age going to 70 years of age.Maybe those workers will have to hitch a ride to work ?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:05pm
    Funny. Paints a picture doesn't it.
    Gee Whiz
    7th Jan 2016
    11:15am
    I 'am over seventy, don't wear glasses, my hearing is perfect, my health is good, my reflexes normal, my concentration is normal, my perception good, have a clean license, and Never had an accident.
    Can the police officer making these ridiculous statements regarding older drivers make the same claim. Or should he have to re-sit his license every year. He certainly looks old enough to undergo re-testing.
    And just how are older people supposed to get on for everyday things if they live in the country, or in the suburbs where there isn't a bus service like where I live. How are they supposed to do all of those normal everyday things we all take for grantedif they don't have a car.
    It seems that everybody from the Federal government down is always picking on and disparaging Senior members of society. Are they totally unaware that they are also on the fast train to old age.
    If only the people in charge started to look at exactly where the trouble really lies. Poor public transport, congested city roads, poor country roads, badly designed and built city and country roads.
    But people at the top who probably have chauffeur driven cars, or tax pay funded cars, always aim for the soft targets; seniors and pensioners ,to divert the blame away from themselves for doing nothing to improve our traffic systems.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:07pm
    I agree with testing but maybe at 5 year intervals under 80, 3 year intervals under 90 and every year after that.
    Good that you have a great record and glad that you are not one of us who have driven off a second story carpark.
    Bomber John
    7th Jan 2016
    11:16am
    If they are serious about preventing road deaths, I suggest they INCREASE the age of motor cyclists. A minimum age of 30 would see many young males being wasted or ending up in wheelchairs. Can someone convey to the 'top cop' the respective ratios of over 70's drivers to >30 motor cyclists and their respective road deaths. Interesting!!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:08pm
    It'll all be sorted once Google cars arrive. No license needed. Ever.
    Jacka
    7th Jan 2016
    11:17am
    older drivers are farless likely to be driving around drunk as monkeys or high as kites on drugs and they are less likely to be involved in 200 kilometers an hour police chases either. let's get the correct statistics out there. anytime an older driver has an accident with a wall or bumps into a house the media are calling for their license to be suspended. every second night on the TV news some idiot crashes through a fence and runs into a house, drunk or not the reporter/ so called journalist never mentions their age, obviously well and truly not of pensioner age. Pardon the pun, one way traffic anti elderly drivers. I hate the term but it's definitely discrimination against the elderly. Cheers Jacka
    Jacka
    7th Jan 2016
    11:17am
    older drivers are farless likely to be driving around drunk as monkeys or high as kites on drugs and they are less likely to be involved in 200 kilometers an hour police chases either. let's get the correct statistics out there. anytime an older driver has an accident with a wall or bumps into a house the media are calling for their license to be suspended. every second night on the TV news some idiot crashes through a fence and runs into a house, drunk or not the reporter/ so called journalist never mentions their age, obviously well and truly not of pensioner age. Pardon the pun, one way traffic anti elderly drivers. I hate the term but it's definitely discrimination against the elderly. Cheers Jacka
    WideBayMike
    7th Jan 2016
    11:20am
    Well if the NSW Police Commisioner has been looking at the picture at the top of the article I can understand his comments. The speedo needle is past the 2 o clock position which in my car is about 160kph and what appears to be the rev counter is close to the maximum and the car looks like it is being driven on a suburban street. :-)
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:08pm
    Under 25. Bet on it.
    Rosret
    7th Jan 2016
    11:21am
    Don't you love statistics! Lets look at the 20%. From the Bitre.gov.au statistics database for 2015. Total deaths 1108. Greater than 69 - 194 but only 90 were the driver. Of those greater than 79 there were 94 and only 36 were the driver. Now according to those statistics ( and whose fault is not included) more old people died as passengers or pedestrians! Get a life young people and stop picking on us!!!! Older people are safer than you at driving their own car.
    Rosret
    7th Jan 2016
    11:33am
    Also 23 of the 36 fatalities over 79 age group were Male.
    Of the over 69 age group 69 of the 90 fatalities were male.
    If we are going to play with stats and condemn then lets get it right!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:11pm
    The statistics are a sham. Of the 90 older drivers what PERCENTAGE OF ALL OVER 90 DRIVERS does this represent? And then do the same for under 25s. Then let's compare!
    PLEASE COME UP WITH THE CORRECT STATISTICS AMELIA!!!!!!!
    Teabags
    7th Jan 2016
    11:21am
    The fact from the report is that in 2015, 76 persons aged 70+ were fatally injured compared to 60 in 2014 (a 16% increase); and the highest of any age category.
    Never in the report does it state that these persons were 'drivers'.
    Sometimes these people need to be briefed by qualified Analysts, as their are variables to be considered apart from the statistics seating position, ie were they at fault?, was it the accident that caused the death, or a medical condition?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:12pm
    I'd suggest the statistics are (intentionally) misleading. Read above!
    tomtom
    7th Jan 2016
    11:24am
    Just read all the comments, some very good, but, mick, isn't it time you went back to the retirement home for a rest? Some of your comments are good but some!!!!!. Overall, enough is enough senior bashing, I don't know what state you are from, but certainly Victoria is NOT over representative in car crashes, young P platers are the scourge of the road - they think they know it all but know very little - time for Victoria police to get up off their collective backsides and get out on the highways to see some of these young idiots driving. Things are bad but not to the extent some are making it out in relation to senior's capabilities on the road.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:20pm
    Not sure what drugs you are on.....but throw them out mate.
    My post is NOT anti-senior. If you read all of my posts above you will see that I challenge the statistics (they are misleading) and that I advocate the testing of older Australians.
    The fact that it is a weekly occurrence (or more) that some of us end up in shops (in our cars), driving off embankments and multi storey carparks and killing others is not a figment of my imagination.
    It's not rocket science that as we age our ability to perceive and react quickly diminish. Anybody who thinks otherwise is in denial. You are clearly in this group tomtom.
    As I have said above I believe that older drivers need to be checked out. If you met the woman next door's male visitor you'd be in agreement. He is suffering bad dementia from what I can and does not know what planet he is on............but he drives his car around like anybody else with 'rights'. I just hope I am not near him the day he decides to kill somebody and then claim 'accident' status.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    10:35pm
    tomtom, you may know your way around Victorian roads without smashing into trains, trams and parked cars, but I agree with mick, Victorians are appalling drivers.

    mick, what gives you the right to follow your neighbour around the streets to critique his driving? Are you stalking him?

    7th Jan 2016
    11:33am
    The greatest single problem with aged drivers is that they develop bad driving habits and are never cured of them.
    They drop their concentration at stop signs, and drive straight through without looking.
    They pull out onto other roads with only a perfunctory glance.
    They fail to exert multiple checks around them (such as looking over your shoulder BEFORE you change lanes - even when you have indicated) - and they become focussed on one thing, ignoring other obvious dangers.

    It's a constant effort to ensure that your driving habits don't deteriorate with passing years.
    It's made worse when you never travel strange roads, and keep to known areas.
    Travelling strange roads keeps your alertness level up.

    I've encountered all of the above when meeting older people behind the wheel on the road, and I always give them extra attention and allow for their slower reflexes and poor driving habits that they've descended into over 50 or 60 or 70 years.

    I personally feel that regular testing is a good idea - but it's the cost that is the bugbear.
    The W.A. Govt no longer tests older drivers, the authorities here rely on doctors reporting their clients when they feel they shouldn't be driving.

    I've been in a pub having a meal with my partner when we saw a positively ancient couple finishing their meal not far from us.
    He would have been in his early 90''s and quite frail, barely able to walk.
    His wife wasn't a lot better, but she wasn't quite as frail.

    They slowly got up and left the table and hobbled outside - and I said to my wife, "What's the bet he hops into the drivers seat of that car next to ours!" Sure enough, he did!!
    He backed out so slowly and painfully it was awful to watch - but he made it!

    Then he roared off out of the pub car park to go mix it with the high-speed traffic on the nearby highway!
    It was a pretty sobering thing to watch, and it makes you very aware, that at some stage, you just need to recognise that you're past driving a motor vehicle - where fast reflexes, physical agility (to turn your head more than 90 degrees), and alertness, are VITALLY important.
    Tom Tank
    7th Jan 2016
    11:47am
    Well said Aaron and especially when they are driving a 4WD towing a BIG caravan.
    I saw an article in the Darwin newspaper a year or so ago when the Mayor expressed thanks that the "grey wave" was heading out of town because of the approaching "wet". The statement was along the lines of that now the roads would become a lot safer for the locals.
    Having seen appalling driving while up there I could only agree with the sentiment.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:25pm
    Agree but education is not the way. You can't change a loss of 3 dimensional awareness. We all lose some as we age. And then there are the reaction times........... The person you mentioned would have been close to brain dead. There is a visitor next door whose male visitor is.
    Tom Tank
    7th Jan 2016
    11:38am
    So many of the posts so far have been directed at younger drivers whereas is the issue is older drivers.
    I have been driving a long time now and when I first got my car licence, having ridden a motor bike for a couple of years, my Dad really got into me regarding safe driving practices. That has never left me, and I have done a lot of driving, and I still think about my driving when I am behind the wheel as I do not think that holding a driving licence is a right but that it is a privilege.
    I see bad driving all the time across all age groups. It is my considered opinion that the most dangerous drivers on the road are those driving at about 10km/hr, or more, below the posted speed limit on a good road in good conditions. Any one who has to drive that slowly in order to be safe really lacks the ability to be driving at all.
    I am in favour of testing of older drivers and I fit into the age bracket that would be tested. There should also be provision for someone, irrespective of age, who has a bad driving record to be banned for life but the problem is in enforcing that.
    An interesting statistic is that N.T. which has lifted its speed limits had no deaths over the Christmas/New Year period. Shows that the Victorian mantra of "speed kills" is a load of simplistic hogwash. It is the "wrong speed at the wrong time" that kills.
    Rosret
    7th Jan 2016
    12:09pm
    The speed restriction was removed from the NT roads because on the long hauls people were falling asleep at the wheel. Very long straight roads, no traffic, and 100km/h was slow and hypnotic. Victoria on the other hand has high density, short runs with variable terrain. ....Drive to the conditions is the message here.
    JAID
    7th Jan 2016
    1:00pm
    Agree largely Tom Tank.

    On the hogwash...of course speed kills, 1klm/hour can kill but it is the quality of the speed that matters and that clearly varies greatly.

    Somehow I differ on the slow drivers. Yes, many slow drivers I see fit that category but when you see a careful, older slow driver you know that a little related caution can assist, doesn't hurt us and can result in no increased risk.

    As to the others, all I can say is that they must enjoy the knowledge that they have plenty of time left in short life and be ignorant of the time left in that of others to so wontonly waste it.
    Tom Tank
    7th Jan 2016
    3:54pm
    I can't agree Rosret on your evaluation of Victorian roads. The Hume Freeway, for example, was designed and built to cater for a speed of 130km/hr for a driver of average ability. It is well constructed with sweeping bends, as per the thinking on road design these days, but with a speed restriction of 110km/hr it is boring and soporific. it would be safer to travel at 130 providing weather and other conditions allow that to be done safely.
    As you said drive to the conditions is the key.
    The thing that kills is the force of impact of which speed is a major factor with the other factor being the mass (or weight if you like) of the vehicle(s). The bigger the vehicle the greater the impact force so to be pedantic a full sized 4WD should be restricted to a lower speed than say a Fiat 500. Quite impractical of course as speed differences between vehicles can, and does, create hazards on "fast" roads, e g freeways.
    This is my point re slow drivers along with the thought that if they are not confident enough to drive on a major highway, in good conditions, at the speed of the traffic flow then should they be driving on that road? This reasoning applies irrespective of age.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    6:20pm
    It is often the combined speed of each vehicle in a collision that causes severe injuries etc. If two cars collide both travelling at 130kph imagine the force. I am surprised there isn't even more accidents involving motorcyclists the way they weave in and out of traffic - riding between two lanes of traffic - often partially in both lanes. Are they going to test senior motorbike riders too? All the articles I have read and reports I have heard on TV or Radio only mention cars. How many people - young or older-are capable of handling a car if a tyre blows - especially a front driver's side one. Even full time professional drivers of small or large vehicles can find that very difficult, especially if they are turning a corner when it occurs.
    BnT
    7th Jan 2016
    11:42am
    I watched my father in his eighties (now passed away) panic every year as his birthday came around in case he had to do a compulsory driving test to keep his licence. He lived independently on his own and only drove to the local shops and for a short distance down a minor highway to a larger shipping centre once a month to get his puzzle books. He was a safe and careful driver, only drove during the daytime and always out of peak hours and on quieter days specifically to avoid any heavier traffic. He always said if he had to do a test he would give up his licence, not because he was not capable of passing but because he felt that he would panic in the test situation and would fail. It hurt to hear someone who was very intelligent and capable making those comments and to see his panic and then relief when no request came through to do a test simply because he had become a year older.
    Lumping everyone together into the same simplistic basket is dangerous at any age and doesn't solve anything. The issue of older drivers keeping their licence needs to be assessed against many factors including location, frequency of driving, need to be able to drive / independence (after all that's no different to the idiot who has lost his license numerous times for speeding or drugs being given a provisional licence to drive to work....how about the oldie who needs to be able to go to the shops so he can live!)....
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:28pm
    That's what a test determines....whether you have still got it or otherwise.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    6:26pm
    Also those who drive without a license on public roads ....and have never had one. Then there are those who drive on suspended licences, have their car impounded and drive a car registered to somebody else. There has been a few reports of that recently. They mostly all younger drivers. Some get their licenses back before they go to court, lose it aain and continuously continue on the pattern.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    9:53pm
    You are avoiding the issue Blossom. What you say may be correct but your response is like a policeman pulling you over for speeding and you saying 'but 3 cars passed me and were going much faster'. This would simply get a 'YOU WERE SPEEDING' answer.....as it should.
    So let's own up and fix the problem in our age cohort. Then let's look at other drivers.
    iggy648
    7th Jan 2016
    11:46am
    Two and a half times as likely compared to what? A 20% spike since when? People who announce these meaningless statistics are really annoying. It also shows they haven't got a clue what they are talking about. That's really dreadful in a senior policeman. If the number of over 70s driving has gone up by 30% in the (whatever period) then the over 70s are safer than before. If the number driving has gone up by 2% in the (whatever period) then the over 70s are getting worse. Quoting the 20% figure by itself is stupid.
    Hawkeye
    7th Jan 2016
    12:27pm
    Agree Iggy. By not giving the whole story, anyone can make statistics support anything.

    For example, 100% of high speed car chases involve police. Therefore ban all police from driving to solve the problem.

    I'm sure Assistant Commissioner Hartley would be able to see the logic in this.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:30pm
    True. The way the statistics are given are wrong anyway and one wonders why they (those in the field) refuse to use the stats properly. Obviously to push the point they want to push.....not the facts.
    Supernan
    7th Jan 2016
    11:51am
    Have they even considered that :
    1. Young drivers who zoom in front of them, slam brakes on suddenly, overtake dangerously & speed may contribute to Seniors deaths ?
    2. Not having the money to update to newer cars with the technology that beep when you are too close, etc means Seniors cant get the benefit of safer cars.
    3. Many Intersections are & parking areas are very confusing because of signage, ads & especially if you dont use them often.
    4. That Seniors die in crashes that other would survive due to frail bodies

    Also dont believe these figures ! All the Statistics I read show young men have more accidents than anyone, alcohol & speed causing most of it.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:33pm
    Under 25 males are at the top of the list. Seniors are just an easy target...but some should not be behind the steering wheel and we do need to take these people off the roads. Sorry if that offends but I wonder how any one of us would feel if we killed a family because of not being capable to properly control a car or react fast enough to avoid a mishap?
    Please do not con yourself that if you were involved then it was 'an accident'. Only that if the result could not have been foreseen. With some older drivers it is more a case of an accident waiting to happen.
    Mrw
    7th Jan 2016
    11:51am
    the results of analysing elderly driver safety repeatedly show self selection in exposure management, and the increases referred to by the police are about several of the factors that th e safety establishment conveniently overlook time after time when it suits them

    1) there are an increasing number of people in the elderly age group so exposure iis automatically increasing from that demographic factor alone

    2) the increasing fragility of elderly people with age leads to more sever injuries if they are involved in a crash or are crashed into..

    3) the incrrasingly fagile finances of elderly peopel and th elow utilisation of their vehicles mens that the vehicles themsleves are on average mich older, and so the drovers do not beneoft from the massive improvements in safety that th enewest vehicles have to ioffer, from ESC or lane gudance.

    It woudl be nice if a little rational discussion took place on th eedlerly and driving. Soem fo the simple refelxive u reaearched minded comments as I see here do not really help at all.

    also the actual costs to the community of continual testing are very substantial (nobody seems to cost personal time costs-often substantial-only the sums paid to auto industry for inspections')and are similar to the over use of 'roadworthy; mandatory inspections o f vehicles.. which are in the main a free gift to the (usually NSW) auto industry-- as most fault related crashes are associated with fast wearing items as tyres etc and other wear and tear items that degrade much more quickly than the interval between the expensive 'inspections'. This comes up time after time at Inquiries and investigations (and exploded thereby) yet is still propagated as a 'safety' measure

    Just labelling an issue 'safety' does not make it so
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:44pm
    Whilst my view on this topic may not be well received it is long time that elderly drivers who have lost it hand in their licenses. They won't! So what do you do? 'Education' is BS. Family pressure may work. So it comes down to you and I PROVING that we are still able to drive in a safe manner. To be fair though the test needs to be a simplified test and perhaps the driving record of the person also considered at the time. Not rocket science. Just common sense and good stewardship.
    BnT
    7th Jan 2016
    11:52am
    I am not in favour of mandatory testing of older drivers unless the testing is done by older people nearing the required age for mandatory testing and does not rely on passing a written test. A formal written test situation is not something with which older people are necessarily still familiar regardless of former levels of academic ability; tests are like statistics and can be written to achieve the results you want - just look at how some questions are worded on government documents etc; I have totally lost any faith I have in some young straight out of University examiner doing any testing of anyone with any experience in any profession let alone driving (and I'm an ex University lecturer!) and coming out with a valid and nonbiased result....and what happens to all that experience gained over the years of driving - as others have said here - often in vary varied circumstances and over may different types of equipment.....
    No to mandatory testing until a fair and valid true test can be put in place!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:45pm
    Fair and valid test? Yes. Agree. But a test it needs to be.
    Glucose
    7th Jan 2016
    11:58am
    What absolute rubbish that cop is talking. The age group that should be banned from driving is the under 25's - they have the most accidents and kill the highest number of people (themselves and passengers and others). Their brains are not fully developed until 25 yet they think they are bulletproof, and know everything!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:46pm
    Yes.....but let's not avoid the issue at our end of the spectrum. A solution is needed here too.
    Paulodapotter
    7th Jan 2016
    12:23pm
    Natural selection has a simple means of weeding out ignorant, poor drivers, inexperienced drivers, impaired drivers and, of course, unlucky drivers. Death and severe injury does that. Youth are over represented in fatal smashes, not the elderly. Elderly drivers get to be elderly drivers because they haven't been weeded out by fatal smashes. So far, I've survived due to my driving ability, but I have also been very lucky. The smart drivers drive within their limitations and this is measured by their own confidence. As soon as that confidence goes, it's time to hang up the keys. It sometimes takes a scare to make that happen.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:46pm
    Pardon me.........but I do not want to be the other side of that equation. That is the point!
    KSS
    7th Jan 2016
    12:27pm
    In the newspaper the report states:
    Drivers over the age of 70 accounted for 22% of road fatalities, but made up only 11% of the population, statistics from the NSW centre for road ­safety show.

    So following that, 78% of road fatalities are aged under 70. Logic would dictate that people under the age of 70 present a far higher risk so perhaps it's they who should stay off the road?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:52pm
    The statistics which are needed are the number of fatalities in a particular group as a percentage of the number of drivers in that group.
    For example let's say that there were 100 fatalities out of a total of 10,000 drivers in a particular age group. The percentage of accidents FOR THAT GROUP is 100 /10 000 x 100% = 1%.

    The above calculation needs to be done for under 25's and then repeated for over 70's and the numbers compared. I have no idea of how the number would pan out but this is comparing apples with apples from what I can see. The way it is currently done is a total distortion of the figures.
    petes2506
    7th Jan 2016
    12:29pm
    How do people get licences if they can't traffic signs or understand road rules? Why can't authorities prevent substitutes from getting a licence for someone else?
    Why don't drivers licences have a fingerprint on them as we?
    Why don't magistrates lock up dangerous drivers first time so they experience the consequence of loss of family temporarily?
    Fiona
    7th Jan 2016
    1:02pm
    Actually it's probably the standard of the driving instructors. I've noticed to my surprise that some of the instructors seem to do the very things I have complained about.
    .
    KSS
    7th Jan 2016
    2:39pm
    petes2506 I heard that signs are now going to be in Chinese too to help those Chinese speaking drivers who cannot speak/read English.

    Seems like more clutter to distract drivers to me. Another opportunity for more fines?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:54pm
    Je ne comprends pas toutes les règles de la route , vous Pussy.
    Ron
    7th Jan 2016
    12:31pm
    The cops should stick to catching the bad guys and leave the interpretation of statistics to those who understand them.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:55pm
    And the statistics should not be open to manipulation by governments trying to push one agenda or another.
    Charlie
    7th Jan 2016
    12:31pm
    There are a lot of live-alone pensioners out there, who have to look after themselves. Driving to shops to buy food, driving to the hospital and to doctors for treatment, driving to visit relatives.
    So if the government is going to be so clever as to deprive these people of their license, how about providing a decent public transport system or rental accommodation near shops that is comparable to the cost of running a car.
    I got my first motor bike license recently at the age of 65 and even on a 100cc scooter I have to be eternally vigilant to watch for cars turning in front of me, so I don't push my luck with it. Being on the age pension I find the bike is the only transport I can afford and I'm getting quite good at it. In fact there are some days I can ride better than I can walk.
    The risk with old age is that a person can go down hill physically very quickly. Going from youthful to very old can sometimes only take a couple of years and there is a also loss of skills, but if a person is on their own, they just have to find a way to get out and about. I have seen pensioners getting about on electric trollies so that could be one option or speed limited licenses like P platers if it comes to that.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:57pm
    Needs are no justification for killing people Charlie. Driving licenses are an acknowledgement of being able to drive properly, not need.
    If need is an issue there are buses, taxis or Community Transport organised through local councils as well as good Samaritans who do this for free to help older people out. Pick one.
    SGW
    7th Jan 2016
    12:33pm
    Typical dumb coppers talking through there arse again, I have driven road trains for 45 years, i'm 66 but a lot of my work mates are over 70 and have better track records than many drivers
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    3:58pm
    Good on you. The question I have is are you still in the zone or are you a danger to yourself? That is the question older drivers often refuse to confront but it is the only question which needs to be asked and HONESTLY answered. Sorry if that offends. It is the guts of the argument though.
    Hobbit
    7th Jan 2016
    12:36pm
    Failure to read the statistics properly. Only 1 extra over 70 driver killed.
    The rest were passengers or pedestrians.
    More of 70's get killed because we are more frail not because we are bad drivers.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:00pm
    The statistics are flawed I would suggest. Read my posts above.
    It matters not how we die in road accidents. What matters is if we cause them.
    rob101
    7th Jan 2016
    12:41pm
    looking at the Assistant Commisioner,I hope he gets re-tested.Please do something about drivers from non-English speaking countries,who obviously can't drive.I've had 2 near misses while crossing the road,at Pedestrian Crossings(controlled by lights).and numerous near misses when driving.
    rob 101
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:02pm
    Something might be done the day you are killed. But then maybe not. That's how the system seems to work.
    I at the very least have to congratulate Hartley for having the backbone to say what he did....that older Australians should think about whether or not they need to drive or whether or not they should hand in their licenses, not what many in the beat-up media have reported.
    madmag21
    7th Jan 2016
    12:46pm
    Many of the deaths of older people in road accidents are not the result of their driving. Rather the result of some-one else's driving, possibly a young person, or a drunk person. Why blame the oldies?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:04pm
    Not too sure about that. And what about the ones who drive into shops, take out rows of parked cars and drive off multi-storey car parks? Somebody else's fault?
    Abby
    10th Jan 2016
    11:21am
    Mick
    I think Bill Shorten did what you describe when he drives and not quite a Senior yet.

    You are quite right in what you say madmag21.... if a bus load of elderly has a car accident and some get killed and injured it is not the fault of the Seniors.
    memph
    7th Jan 2016
    12:49pm
    I understand that people would have very different views on this matter which they are entitled to all I can comment on is the recent road accidents involving elderly drivers here in the ACT. One an Elderly woman driver who was killed in Tuggeranong involving another vehicle and two accidents both a couple of months apart at the same intersection in Farrer ACT at the Dookie St/Yamba Drive intersection. The first one was a single vehicle accident involving an elderly gentleman and the second was a 2 car accident involving an 85 year old man and his 84 year old wife who was passenger in the car all these people died in these accidents. They were all classed as being due to medical conditions. It is awful that these people lost their lives in such awful circumstances. They did cause injuries to the other drivers etc but fortunately did not kill other people.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:07pm
    Thanks for an honest post. Whilst I am no expert I have been saying to my wife for the last 2 years that elderly drivers are going to be put through the license wringer as I watched the once or twice weekly accidents which defied any logic....almost entirely from over 65's.
    Sorry to be the messenger. We all need to confront what is happening and take the emotion out of the argument. Either we can or we canNOT. No other arguments matter.
    particolor
    10th Jan 2016
    11:49am
    An no further Correspondence will be entered into ! :-(
    Adrianus
    10th Jan 2016
    1:27pm
    Flattened on the highway or by the wringer?! Your choice!
    particolor
    10th Jan 2016
    2:32pm
    Frank.. ?

    Beware of Runaway Steam Rollers ! :-(
    Mags
    7th Jan 2016
    12:52pm
    The increased number of elderly that died on the roads were passengers and pedestrians...the increase in numbers of actual elderly drivers was one....and while the "experts"are at it ,why not see how many people are surviving accidents because of medical brilliance not all the 30/40/50 zones,traffic calming Humps and policing .....just asking
    Baby Huey
    7th Jan 2016
    1:02pm
    With the greatest respect to the well meaning police officer he sounded like Humpty Dumpty in the conversation with Alice in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There.
    ex PS
    7th Jan 2016
    1:51pm
    Unfortunatley, Public Servants, espescially high ranking Public Servants are told what their views are by the government, you don't have an opinion that is in variance with government opinion if you want to get the next promotion.
    PlanB
    7th Jan 2016
    2:48pm
    Very true so I have heard ex PS
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:11pm
    Unfair comments. First thing is Hartley was widely misreported. I watched a few media outlets when he was put to air and his comments were simply pleading with older drivers who were past it to think of others and either not drive or to CONSIDER handing in their licenses if they knew they should do this.
    Being defensive does not change the facts: in car you are either capable or not capable of having control. For some older drivers it is unfortunately the latter. No emotion, just fact. These people need to be off the roads no matter how offended they are. Sorry! I may be one of them in future as well.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    4:32pm
    Yes , and it seems the higher up the ladder the poorer the driving skills.
    How on earth does someone manage to smash into a couple of parked cars???
    Hardworker
    7th Jan 2016
    1:15pm
    One of the problems is that older drivers with dementia don't even think to reconsider their driving ability. Mick please report that guy to the Police before he kills someone, he clearly has dementia. Fear of losing independence makes some people very selfish thinking they can still drive acceptably when they really can't. If you think you are still capable of driving when older you should have no objection to mandatory testing. It lets you know just how capable you are. I also think a lack of safe affordable public transport that goes where you need it to go contributes to the problem as we all need to get out and about but just how do we do that when we can no longer drive? We have to rely on others, mainly younger family members who live very busy lives and can't drive us when they are at work.
    ex PS
    7th Jan 2016
    1:45pm
    Only thing I disagree with is the call for affordable public transport. If someone gives up their only option for transport voluntarily they should be rewarded with free (local) transport on buses, trains and trams, and access to a certain amount of taxi travel for emergencies.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:15pm
    I have been wrestling with this for 6 months. I don't want to be a bastard but then I don't want to see the guy kill anybody who is doing nothing other than driving responsibly and who may have a family to sustain. It's killing me but I know that sooner or later I'll have to make a call. Damned if I do. Damned if I don't.

    ex PS: try the Community Bus organised through your local council. I know people who use it and they meet other oldies as well as get to the shops (and back) as well as medical appointments. Recommended!
    Crimmo
    7th Jan 2016
    1:17pm
    Seven out of ten cars speed. For every three amber lights I go through there would be twice where one or two cars go through the red light. There is also an increasing number of people who do not indicate when turning or changing lanes. None of these are old people. When I got my licence 44 years ago there was a rule about indicating 100 feet before turning. The rule doesn't seem to apply these days. Police should get off their arse, get out on the roads and enforce the road laws, protecting those who do obey the road laws. If you put all those who speed more than ten Km above the speed limit off the road for one year for every one Km they are above the speed limit, we wouldn't have a congestion problem on our roads. We might have an increased suicide problem, but the State would be saving money then.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    3:15pm
    Crimmo, Some young people may not be aware they are speeding because they may have fitted incorrect tyre sizes.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:20pm
    Give it a break Frank. The difference is not all that great.
    A speedometer essentially measures REVOLUTIONS. As long as the engine has the grunt to give the same number of RPM with bigger tyres then you will go faster than shown on the speedometer. But then what do young bucks do? Answer: put on low profile tyres....so their speed will be slower than what their speedos show. Have I got that right?
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    4:40pm
    mick you must be a city slicker. Incorrect tyre size can show a difference of 3 to 4 kph, coupled with the desire to push the envelope by another 4 or 5 kph a driver may not be aware they are actually 8 or 9 kph over the limit.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    4:42pm
    Do it Mick you would feel terrible if he took someone out it happened to one of my family once, luckily not killed but the driver had dementia and headed down the wrong side of a 6 lane road the copper took his licence off him on the spot.
    If i new of one I would do it straight away as a mater of fact we took my Father in laws licence off him sold his car and handed back his licence he was having a few problems and he adjusted quite well.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    4:52pm
    Sorry that post was meant for Mick in the lot above I was posting it whilst driving my car? ha ha ha.
    Denny
    7th Jan 2016
    1:26pm
    At nearly 69 years of age I have just had a refresher lesson with a driving instructor as we have changed from a Nissan Pulsar to a Nissan X-trail 4WD and I needed confidence with the larger vehicle. After carrying out 3 point turns, parking etc he told me I'm an excellent driver. I have been driving for 39 years and have an unblemished record. You cannot label people as we are all different. Mobile phone usage whilst driving still seems to go on.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    2:36pm
    Having been a driving assessor prior to retiring, cars trucks and mobikes, I carried out quite a few aged tests as part of the job.
    I would say from 70 on a discretionary test every year or so is not a bad idea.
    I have one annually with a qualified assessor and find it of some value.
    None of us are as good as we think we are and collecting bad driving habits along the way is par for the course.
    Get yourself the latest driving handbook and brush up on the road rules and have a test, if not with a a recognised assessor or driving school, with someone who does not normally travel with you and will make some honest comment.
    If they abandon you at a stop sign or similar you will obviously know you are not doing to well.
    Take it easy.
    SD
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:24pm
    Good post Shaggy Dog. The facts are that whilst we are all different we all age and slow down. Some much faster than others.
    I am totally in agreement with a test for over 70's every 5 years, for over 80's every 3 year and for over 90's every year. Common sense. We can either still drive ok or not. There are no emotional other reasons which apply as killing somebody because we should not be on the road is not an accident.
    HarrysOpinion
    7th Jan 2016
    5:29pm
    Denny, I presume you renewed your driver licence for a 5 year period?
    Just wait until you hit 70 years of age. You will be profiled as a potentially bad driver because of this incomprehensible stigmatisation of over 70 year old drivers and your insurance premium may be increased as a result...yes...any excuse will do. On the other hand when barbaric group of people run amok on our public streets causing grief and carnage these people are not profiled nor stigmatised publicly by the authorities because of "political correctness". We know who they are, we see their images on cctv reports made public, but the authorities rather profile and stigmatise the "oldies" because "oldies'" are a soft target. There's no money to be made out of profiling hooligans and criminals but there's money to be made out of profiling and discriminating against over 70 year old drivers.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    9:56pm
    Bring it on HS. Because we live in an organised society I expect those who govern to impose fair sensible rules to protect my fellow citizens. You sound like you might want to be a Chinese or Indian citizen where you can drive as you like when you like and where you will not be held to account if you kill other road users. I am happy to ensure that my fellow Australians are not at risk if m y driving ability reaches its use by date.
    Cheers.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    10:48pm
    Well mick instead of criticising us oldies just try explaining that to your boss. Bill "dodgem cars" Shorten.
    Feina
    7th Jan 2016
    2:16pm
    I believe that all drivers, from the beginning of their driving carriers through to the end of their driving carriers, need regular (say annually or every three years) need to go back to the driving school and go through the learning (things/rules change every year) process and be 'tested' and if found wanting have to go back to the beginning of the learning experience until they can pass the 'tests'. If they 'bomb out' three times then they should be made to re-do the whole thing again until they pass. Nothing to do with age, race, religion etc.

    Unfortunately you cannot test for all conditions. i.e.driving when tired, lack of concentration, talking & gesticulating with passengers, people who occasionally take drugs and experience an 'episode' causing an accident., people who drink/drugs, people (any age) who suddenly have a heart attack or other medical problem - sneeze? Spiders etc.

    One thing for all ages that are driving, is regular medical checks for all in relation to driving competency. e.g. bad eyes, reflexes, heart, stiff necks, or other pertaining medical conditions.

    Courtesy is one subject that needs to be taught strongly, not only in driving schools but also from kindergarden through all the education system. Unfortunately the teachers don't seem to have the time or care to teach this.

    KSS mentions a very telling statistic - note - 'And using the same logic, statistically the under 25s have the highest fatality rates so why not ban holding a driving license until the age of 26!' Maybe by that age they will have settled their hormones and learnt some humility and courtesy. Then their driving will get better.I do not think that banning licenses to that age does much to stop stupidity and showing off.

    It also seems that the 25% are considered more dangerous than the 75% who actually cause most accidents/deaths/maimings.

    p.s. I also like the comments by 'Gee Whizz'.

    regards - Feina
    KSS
    7th Jan 2016
    2:43pm
    Feina you write: "Courtesy is one subject that needs to be taught strongly, not only in driving schools but also from kindergarden through all the education system. Unfortunately the teachers don't seem to have the time or care to teach this."

    Not fair to blame the schools and teachers with an already crowded curriculum. What about the parents? Kids are at home or in the care of family more than they are with their teachers and surely basics like courtesy (and manners come to that) should be taught and reinforced first and foremost in the home.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:29pm
    Feina: What is required is not refresher courses. It is testing after a set time. Usually when people start to lose the edge.
    As for schools being responsible this seems to be what governments and society does all the time. Everything is now the responsibility of schools and nothing is the responsibility of parents anymore. Maybe we should throw out all of the curriculum and fill the day with BS to satisfy all of those who have an ax to grind. And you wonder why Australian has been slipping down the international ranking for 2 decades..............let's blame the teachers.
    eggles01
    7th Jan 2016
    2:27pm
    of course older people may die in a road accident mainly because they are old did you notice no reasons or details of such accidents are given it is only logical that if two cars collide in an accident the driver of one is 70-or older and the other driver is 17-27yrs who do you think would most likely to die and who really can say that seconds before the accident either one of them could have died of natural causes,i started driving just before i turned 17 and my first license was a truck license when i turned 19 i have had 1 accident 1 vehicle in a repair shop and that was in 1963 when i was 21 caused by a driver forcing his way across the main road off the Sydney Harbor Bridge in peak morning traffic on my way to work also i have only had 1 speeding fine ever also on a different day in the same year on my way home from work on the same bridge my speed was 33 miles per hour that is 3 m/p/h over,I wonder just how many younger drivers can match that,every driver today should have to go through a phsyco exam before they are given a licence and not allowed to carry any passengers for 3 years after they receive their license
    retroy
    7th Jan 2016
    2:51pm
    Just like any age group there are good and bad drivers but this "study" skews statistics and is not worth a fig.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    4:29pm
    retroy, as someone who saw a bus full of over 70's, many of whom had to be hospitalised, following an intersection collision. I would have to agree. Especially since the driver was a 30 year old.
    The raw statistics will show 15 over 70's injured in a vehicle accident. Some of whom couldn't walk without assistants and most had very poor eyesight.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:30pm
    The statistics are erroneous. Probably intentionally so.
    Foxy
    7th Jan 2016
    3:18pm
    ...the answer is to legalize luxury Euthanasia Clinics ASAP - then anyone over 70 who wishes to "pop in - have a drink - take a pill" can do so? Possibly eliminate at least half the "older generation" within a few months? Problem solved! Too easy!! lol lol lol ....... :-)
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:32pm
    Let's avoid the BS Foxy and address the issue. Either older drivers (and younger ones) can drive or can't and either have their wits about them or don't. The emotional argument you are putting forth serves no purpose because it fails to address the problem. Just fobs it off. Sorry!
    Foxy
    7th Jan 2016
    5:24pm
    ..apologies for my "black humour" Mick - and sorry you don't have any! I thought everyone else addressed the issue quite well? So I had no need to comment any further.

    Just threw in a "Wild Card" for FUN ....FUN!!! ...... Duh :-)
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    9:58pm
    Sorry if I get a bit serious sometimes. Can be very intense. Just thought the comment was a bit off.
    Rosret
    8th Jan 2016
    9:34am
    Yep - hate to be a burden on society. "Always look on the bright side of life.. dadum". hehe
    HarrysOpinion
    7th Jan 2016
    3:29pm
    So, 80% in the number of road deaths are amongst the people under 70!
    So, 78% of drivers under 70 account for more road accident fatalities!
    Men are more likely than women to be killed ?…. Because they are frailer than women are?
    Incomprehensible!
    Bill Shorten, the leader of the Labor Party recently got caught out 1) driving in a negligent manner causing multiple damage to cars while drinking coffee 2) caught out for phone texting while driving...and this is a person who is under 70 with aspiration to be the leading driver of this Nation?...Now that is INCOMPREHENSIBLE!
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:35pm
    Why turn this into a political argument? Did not see you mention Tony Abbott and his travel rorts or Malcolm Turnbull and his Cayman Islands Tax Shelter????? Both WERE and ARE PMs.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    4:53pm
    mick why try to change the subject?
    HS has a valid point.
    It will be the senior politicians who take our driving licences away from us, let's be sure they themselves know how to drive!

    Personally if I knew Shorten was on the road my car would not be.

    Running into parked cars is a sure sign of poor driving skills.
    What if it was your daughter pushing a pram with your grandson??
    Bill Shorten would have no hope of seeing them when he cannot see something as big as a car.
    And another thing....spilling coffee does not wash with me.
    HarrysOpinion
    7th Jan 2016
    4:59pm
    Not a political argument at all. Just an emphasis that those under 70 are more negligent drivers...including politicians...Leaders lead by example?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    5:18pm
    Frank: you are so full of it. My post was concerning the attempt to turn this issue into a Labor/Shorten issue. Your specialty. So is the post from you under another name again? Sounds like it.
    HarrysOpinion
    7th Jan 2016
    5:32pm
    No Mick it is from the genuine me. How immature are you?
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    9:59pm
    Observant actually! And have already caught Frank out once before. Not naive HS.....
    Anonymous
    8th Jan 2016
    8:00am
    No Frank spilling coffee doesn't do it for me either perhaps Penny Wong was sitting on his lap at the time.
    Hardworker
    7th Jan 2016
    3:31pm
    ex PS - free public transport to those who voluntarily give up driving when they are no longer capable - what a good idea! However I think the issue is more complex than that, as I myself would rather put groceries in my car boot from a shopping trolley at the shopping centre than have to hump them to a bus, train or tram stop and then walk the rest of the way home as it still takes several bags of groceries a week to just feed me. That is an activity for the young, not the elderly who have arthritic hands, bad backs and legs etc. and are quite often using a walker. I know the major grocery stores have home delivery but quite a lot of older folk do not have computers. We all need to be active and get out and about but if it takes you half the day in travel time on public transport you are just not going to bother. Retirement villages and the like need to plan for all these issues and make sure there are a variety of facilities nearby and possibly also have a mini bus service. But of course this doesn't help those who choose to stay in their own homes. This is one reason why I thought ahead and purchased a house close to a good bus service.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:38pm
    Well here is a bit of reality rather than the emotional cop out with heaps of posters above.
    Retirement Villages all have a bus. There are Community Buses organised through local councils. And then there are commercial buses, taxis, good Samaritans and mates. Give it a break people......give up your license if you are a danger to everybody around you! All decent people would do that wouldn't they????
    PlanB
    8th Jan 2016
    8:03am
    Dead right there Hardworker, would take me ages to get a bus here and I would be unable to carry the groceries to and from said bus and to my home.

    Much easier to put in the boot.

    Don't worry if I am unable to safely drive I would give up my license and have always made sure any medication I was on did not effect my driving as I have too much pride in my driving record to ruin it.
    KJ
    7th Jan 2016
    3:41pm
    I believe relevant statistics are given in a SA Govt Dept of Plg Transport and Infrastructure Fact Sheet, which indicates that the rate of diver/rider involvement in fatal and serious crashes per 10,000 licences held by age in SA, 2009-2013, was as follows:
    Age 16 to 24 - 17%, age 25 to 69 - 9%, and age 70+ - 8%. That is, drivers 70+ have the lowest rate of involvement in serious crashes of all age cohorts. Refer link http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/112330/Older_Road_Users.pdf
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:40pm
    When you use 'percentages' the only pertinent question is A PERCENTAGE OF WHAT? That is why the figures are misleading. Giving percentages of the entire population is totally misleading. The only useful figure is a percentage of the group...and then you can compare across groups.
    I'd suggest the way the statistics are compiled is an attempt to hide the facts.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    4:04pm
    I'm not sure about the statistics. However, it is very noticeable that poor driving skills are often associated with a Victorian number plate. Many people I have met around the country often mention this to me and I would have to agree.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:44pm
    So you hail from Victoria Frank?
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    5:05pm
    No way Jose. Victoria and SA have more insurance claims per 1000 vehicles than any other state.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    9:25pm
    I shall be off skiing in Brackenridge shortly as usual so you can all drive safley whilst I'm away, methinks.
    zephyr
    7th Jan 2016
    4:22pm
    I have three comments to make.

    Firstly, regardless of age, most people think they are good drivers whereas others are not as good. I think we need to get away from the mentality of assuming that just because we haven't had an accident it means we are good drivers. It could just be that at any given time others around us are good enough to adapt to our mistakes. Being honest with ourselves is paramount.

    Secondly, my husband is 80 and falls into the category of believing he's still as good a driver as he was years ago. He isn't. He isn't even as good as he was 5 years ago when he was still doing some semi-professional driving. His reflexes aren't as good and his lane positioning in traffic and tunnels is often quite poor. But he thinks he's fine and any gentle comments or suggestions from me lead to an annoyed response. He can't see that his abilities have decreased.

    Thirdly, while I do encounter some crazy P-platers on the roads if I ever get wiped out in the area where I live it will be by a tradie in a 4WD Ute. Many are aggressive and arrogant, tailgating, overtaking over double lines, not giving way to traffic in roundabouts, speeding, cutting you off and so on. I drive at the speed limit but apparently I'm meant to be driving at 10 above.

    For the record, I'm 60, I try to drive sensibly and safely (and no I've never had an accident) but I don't claim to be the world's best driver.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:46pm
    Good post zephyr. Pretty well agree although beg to differ with self assessment. We all know when we are losing the edge but human nature and wanting what I want comes into it rather than a social responsibility.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    4:42pm
    How old is Bill Shorten? Will these new rules apply to him?
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    5:12pm
    mick, I'm sure calling people names like that is not something the moderator would like. It also makes you look pretty immature.
    Looks like I have encountered some road rage.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    9:05pm
    Apologies Frank, you know what a pompous know all I am and you must forgive me, after all I will one day be the President of Australia and don't you forget it.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    9:23pm
    I happen to love Bill Shorten, he is the love child of one of my favourite comedians of all time, Stan Laurel. Have a look at Bill and tell me he's not the image of Stan Laurel in looks and actions. I'm very suspicious.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    10:19pm
    mick I think you need to take a rest. Have you been taking your medication on time?
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    10:39pm
    mick, I accept your apology. After all this time it's become increasingly clear that you are a nutjob.
    ex PS
    8th Jan 2016
    12:16pm
    Frank, are you advocating for all politicians or Senior Public Servants who make a mistake in a vehicle to be sacked? It will not leave us much of a choice in the next election.
    I am assumming that you have never made a mistake when driving.
    ex PS
    8th Jan 2016
    12:23pm
    mick, do you reakise how close we came to having Abbot and Costello running the country. I would have voted LNP to see that. It would have been so apt.
    Adrianus
    8th Jan 2016
    12:34pm
    exPS, In answer to your first question. A. No. I don't believe I stated that? But I will admit to it if you can point to it?
    In answer to your final assumption. You are wrong. I have made plenty of mistakes while driving. Sometimes I look back and wonder why I am still alive. I have had no problems in the last 38 years though.
    Why don't you tell us about the politicians who have a worse driving record than Bill Shorten? These are the people who will make it harder for us to hold onto our licence as we age. No assumptions please?
    Dotty
    7th Jan 2016
    4:47pm
    I am one of those Older Driver's that are quite competent on the road ! I had a refresher coarse overseen by some of the people from the RTA when I turned 75 years old which was coming up three years ago and was told that to go home as I didn't need the refresher as I was very competent and my reflex's were exceptional !
    I would hand my License in right away if for one minute I felt that I was not a safe driver on the road ! Give us older one's a go and look at others that have the same mishaps as we do and get away with it with just a slap on the wrist !
    I would say that on the whole Aged Drivers are as good on the road as any other aged driver !
    But are labeled because of our age !
    Has anyone taken a Survey with the P PLaters ??
    If not maybe they should and see just how many make pointless mistakes with driving and hooning !!
    Dotty
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    4:49pm
    You are setting the standard and mindset we need Dotty. Thanks. Appreciated.
    zephyr
    7th Jan 2016
    5:12pm
    I think it's great that you did a refresher course Dotty and more people should follow your lead. I'd like to point out though that things can still change within, say, a five year period. Five years ago at 75 my husband was successfully retested for his LR licence driving a 22 seater bus. The tester couldn't fault him. Yet five years on I can see changes in his driving ability (he gave up his LR licence). He's not at the stage where he would need to stop driving, far from it, he can still negotiate Sydney CBD traffic, but because he has always been a very precise, excellent driver I can see the changes happening. I wish that he were aware of these changes. He has at least decided that driving at night is off the agenda.
    Ellen
    7th Jan 2016
    5:07pm
    The problem is not the driving skills, it is rather the time span needed to respond to unusual situations being forced into by non-compliant drivers, e.g. to react to non standard behaviour like being tailgated which forces one to look more frequently into the rear mirror, or someone crossing lanes at a solid line, in general aggressive driving and non-standard procedures.etc.
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    5:19pm
    And the loss of 3 dimensional awareness. Most important to have.
    Anonymous
    7th Jan 2016
    6:01pm
    Mick,
    Situational awareness is the one.
    A very few have it in spades, most are average. Age and experience has little to do with it as some appear to be born with a high level of situational awareness.
    It stands out when you come across it.
    It was an interesting few years watching people of all stripes display their driving ability, or lack of it, terrifying too at times.
    Take it easy.
    SD
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:02pm
    Not talking about 'average'. Talking about the bottom 10%. Those who regularly scrape walls and back into things. Those who have no idea is there is another car next to them, coming up on them in the next lane, etc. You may be right about too many people having licenses but it'll all be fixed soon so do not panic. Google cars is a coming. I'd give it 15 to 20 years. Then we can all drive forever.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    10:39pm
    I must apologise for spelling licence wrong, I spelt it license, silly me. I thought I was back in Brackenridge, Colorado.
    Anonymous
    8th Jan 2016
    12:34am
    Mick,
    You can have some one with high situational awareness but very poor manipulative skills.
    Some can park in the tightest spot possible but be quite dangerous on the open road and visa versa.
    Most drivers are a blend of abilities generally with a bias coming from attitude, experience or inherent ability.
    Most are no where near as good as they think they are. I have taken some very experienced drivers for a test for no other reason except for them to experience the current test and most lost points and some came quite close to failing much to their surprise. Driving is a adaptive task due to changing environments, vehicles and such things as our own mental and physical state.
    A good driver of just a few years ago can easily be an unsafe driver today simply because they have not adapted to change for whatever reason.
    Anyway enough from me. I shall be undergoing my annual test in a couple of weeks and no doubt I shall have my failings pointed out to me.
    Take it easy.
    SD
    Foxy
    7th Jan 2016
    5:41pm
    .... Q. Is "Mick" running this "Topic"? Sure looks like it? Hey "Mick" try getting some humour in ya life! Remember - there is always the "Euthanasia Clinic" to fall back on ?? lol lol ......Cheers .....
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    5:45pm
    That is rather rude of you.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    6:10pm
    I would like to put to the vote that we re name this site mike's Life Choices and not Your Life Choices, all those in favour…..
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    6:15pm
    That's better mick.
    Foxy
    7th Jan 2016
    6:44pm
    ...there is a BIG difference between "rude" and "humour" ok? I rest my case ! If you are so 'set in stone" as a person and cannot differentiate between the two - not my problem! :-)
    MICK
    7th Jan 2016
    10:11pm
    Thanks Your Life Choices. So how many of the posters on this site are bogus? Not the first time comments have been posted by other than the user. The above are not mine.
    If you think that I am too involved then get the webmaster to contact me and we'll have a chat.
    Adrianus
    7th Jan 2016
    10:21pm
    Foxy my mistake. I was just trying to encourage mick to be a little more civil.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    10:28pm
    I must go to bed now, I promised my wife that once I topped the 80 posts today that would be it, night night everybody happy new year, I'll be back tomorrow never fear, if God spares me.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    5:44pm
    Well said Ray, Some of the Politicians have drivers. Some of the Govt. Dept Heads have either drivers or Govt cars they use. If they stopping the older generation as they call us from driving, are they going to provide more effecient public transport more regularly. How many of the older generation fatalities also involved younger drivers in other motor vehicles. Maybe Police Officers should have to driving tests more often too. On more than one occasion we have seen police cars stop at traffic lights - using TWO lanes not one. When they don't have their lights or sirens on, they should set the general public a good example. They should also be taught the new Traffic Act Laws too, not professional drivers have to carry a copy of the act to show Police if pulled over. I know one driver who has been booked 3 times by the same officer. Each time the Police Officer did not know the Act. On one occasion one wouldn't believe what she was shown - a current copy of the National Road Traffic Act - case was tossed out of court and no costs paid to the driver = loss of income for court time and research. It would be better if the Police did more frequent drg and alcohol testing. Plus more Patrols avaiable for attempted burglary/ break-ins, not bother if nothing is taken or damaged. Most people are not going to go out in their yard (especially the back) if they know there is an intruder. I agree that drivers should have their sight and hearing checked. They need to be able to hear approaching emergency vehicles. Also heart checks. There are probably a quite a few younger drivers who wouldn't pass the basic medical tests.
    Blossom
    7th Jan 2016
    6:30pm
    How do drivers of any age get a learners permit or license if they can't even read or speak English?.....They don't know what some of the signs say.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    9:00pm
    Vell goodness grashoos me.
    MICK
    8th Jan 2016
    9:51am
    The above comment not from me. Not sure who put it here or how.
    Charlie
    7th Jan 2016
    6:43pm
    Mick you seem to have the misguided Idea that its the old people who are killing others, that's not so. I mentioned the motorbike and about people being inattentive and turning in front of me, there is not much evidence that they are all old people loosing their capabilities, but there is a growing amount of evidence there are a lot of people on the road with their attention affected by recreational drugs, alcohol, mobile phones, stereos, passengers, work stress, emotional problems or wander lust.
    roy
    7th Jan 2016
    9:02pm
    But just remember if those people texting, drinking. using their 'phones etc are over 70, what an even bigger danger they are than a 17 year old doing the same,c'mon use your loaf.
    MICK
    8th Jan 2016
    9:47am
    The above is NOT MY COMMENT. Made by somebody else.
    roy
    10th Jan 2016
    8:59pm
    That comment is not from me.
    Teddyboy.
    7th Jan 2016
    6:44pm
    Retesting in a way that relates to safety for older drivers would be acceptable. Such as reflexes and reaction times. Making sure they can find the brake pedal and not the accelerator quickly would be a good start.
    Does it say anywhere what proportion of drivers are over 70? Without that figure these statistics are worthless.
    I agree with the other person below who says that if you can,t reverse into a parking space you should not be driving.
    RichF
    7th Jan 2016
    9:10pm
    As a WASP (look up American definitions if you don't know) who will complete my 86th circuit of Sol this year I can report that I had a non injury accident in London in 1958 and further non injury collisions in New Zealand in 1968, 1973, 1975 and 1978. In all cases I was stationary due to to traffic conditions...i.e traffic lights, being parked or held up by road works. In Fiji I accidentally backed into a small tree. Since arriving in Australia I have only had one 'incident' when a small truck backed into me while I was stopped waiting to enter a main road.
    This does NOT make me an expert driver... though I don't consider myself TOO bad. What it does do is make me ....I hope a careful and considerate driver. AND LUCKY. Please note that does not make me fireproof but I hope those last few words might let a lot of drivers consider the possibilities outlined by the Rozzer.
    And FYI...I do not drive in the middle of the road at 20 km/h under the limit
    Rosret
    8th Jan 2016
    9:36am
    Hi RichF - see Foxy's reply above for the solution!
    Alternatively roll on google cars.
    MICK
    8th Jan 2016
    9:52am
    Most of the comments from Foxy (above) are fake. Google cars are coming. That did come from me.
    Foxy
    8th Jan 2016
    10:20am
    Hey MICK .....now you seriously starting to cross the line.....waddya mean "most of the comments from (Foxy) above are fake????"

    They are NOT fake - and at least I don't keep talking to myself the way you do......Mick v Mick obviously the stress of posting 80 comments per day is getting to you? lol lol lol ....
    MICK
    8th Jan 2016
    3:09pm
    Apparently users of the site can register somebody else's name and use it. Just found that out. Two can play at that game so I ask the troublemakers to stop.
    roy
    8th Jan 2016
    7:06pm
    Foxy and Frank are one and the same methinks.
    Banjo
    9th Jan 2016
    10:35am
    That's what happens when you allow omnivorous mammals on the site, Mick.

    Pertaining to the topic, older drivers may have the years behind them, but that does not make them better drivers. As some get older there is stiffness in the joints, the neck joints suffer making it difficult for older drivers to turn from side to side, a great drawback

    In addition many older drivers suffer from loss of peripheral vision thus making them quite dangerous on the road.

    A great number of older drivers are also on many medications. All in all when you add up all of these things, retesting is the only way to determine which older driver should be on the road.

    Relatives should do the right thing and dob in bad drivers in their family.
    Adrianus
    9th Jan 2016
    11:28am
    Banjo, when I compile your list of typical hindrances to being a great driver, I'm left with a question.
    What role should Doctors play in this?
    Employers often get a medical examination to clear the new employee for a start. Should a licence renewal after say 70 be accompanied by a medical certificate??
    Or is this too much pressure placed on GP's?
    A 52 yo diabetic driver recently became unconscious while driving.
    Is it possible that certain medical conditions will eventually preclude us from driving regardless of age?
    Banjo
    9th Jan 2016
    2:50pm
    Good question Frank. Doctors should play a more significant role. They know the health of the patient, they know what drugs they're on and they have an obligation to speak out. Frank, if placing this sort of "pressure" on GPs can save a life, then I say right on.

    You've highlighted an excellent point in your last paragraph. My next door neighbour an incredibly good driver, licenced to drive almost anything has had to give up driving because of advanced glaucoma at age 59. Hard pill to swallow, I know, but we can't choose our ailments.
    Dot
    7th Jan 2016
    10:57pm
    I've yet to see a young one stick to the correct speed, they weave in and out from lane to lane just to get in front.
    particolor
    9th Jan 2016
    11:42am
    Rush on Smart Guy !
    Hell aint full yet !!
    Perthite
    8th Jan 2016
    6:19am
    One point that no one has made is that we will soon have people working all sorts of jobs until they are 70. They will be driving trucks, climbing on roofs and looking after children at daycare to name a few. Will they suddenly be able to drive to get to work as they have no alternative. If they are not safe on the road then maybe the retirement age should not be raised to 70. Will they go from driving a large truck one day to having no licence the next? Some elderly drivers are not capable of driving but then some of them were bad drivers when they were younger too. Your driving does not improve because you got older unless you have ceased to be reckless. Every case is different. Maybe all drivers should be reassessed if they are always losing points or having more than one accident in a year otherwise it is age discrimination. Possibly there are more fatalities amongst the old because the shock or broken bones are more serious as you age.
    cookie47
    8th Jan 2016
    8:51am
    Testing would be fine for me as long as the tester wasn't 25 years old and had the mentality to put everyone off the road
    MICK
    8th Jan 2016
    9:49am
    Common sense testing would appear to be what is needed. But you do make a pertinent point.
    MD
    8th Jan 2016
    10:00am
    An exceptionally 'hoary chestnut', this subject.
    "Common - sense" being mentioned ad nauseam. Definition required please.
    Isn't any one persons' 'common sense' equally as valid as any others view.
    It then remains to be determined who is right. This is why we have Laws and Rules (regardless of whether we agree/disagree).
    Yes this forum is open to all who might like to contribute - and many do so, however, why it is necessary for a select few to contribute multiple posts & a good many of these being repetitious seemingly defeats the purpose. It takes an interminable time to wade through the unnecessary blog.
    Perhaps we need to put to a vote - that this site be renamed, (I believe this was mentioned). Regardless of which, I wish anyone heading off for a skiing holiday to Brackenridge a very happy trip. As they say in the thespian arena - "break a leg". Said with the sincerest of intentions.
    Scrivener
    8th Jan 2016
    10:31am
    So, Age Discrimination doesn't apply to John Hartley?
    His use of percentages is as silly as politicians and journalists - a 100% increase of a population of 1 is 2.
    I did a summer collating accident statistics for Main Roads and road conditions, speed, alcohol and inattention were the best predictors of accidents - not age. Now we have iphones and drugs to contend with.
    Adrianus
    8th Jan 2016
    10:46am
    Scrivener, you may be right with that comment. I would prefer to get statistics from Insurance companies before forming an opinion. Interestingly, the older you get the lower your premium and the more chance of getting a rating one for life! As I stated above Victorian and SA drivers are the worst drivers in the country so if we fix that problem the stats will look a whole lot better.
    Scrivener
    8th Jan 2016
    10:54am
    I just read this article again and the thought that kept zinging back to me was an image of the 17 year old potential organ donor who lives next door to me. He has a perennial drug users cough, drives an unmuffled car he keeps rebuilding himself in his backyard, every second word is "F*%K", and he has no regard at all for others.
    Yes! 17 not 70.
    The cops know about him but do nothing.
    Oh! And not all 70 year olds are the same - hell, I'm 74 and I don't know what I what to be when I grow up.
    I'm a better welder than the idiot next door and I sure would not drive the car he keeps spot welding - more bloomin' weld than car.
    The incremental accident numbers for idiots like him are small percentages because there are so many of them. Ten of them in a population of 100 is 10% - Ten of my age in a population of 20 is 100%. Still ten. Older folks just come from a smaller population so the percentages look bigger. There should be a law to stop politicians and journalists from using percentages. Force them to use raw number comparisons.
    student
    8th Jan 2016
    12:54pm
    Hey Scrivener ... I have solved the problem of knowing what I want to be when I grow up .... don't grow up!!I refuse to be 'mature' too 'cause then people expect you to behave a certain way etc. It's my job to show these youngings how to be a timeless/ageless rebel!Life is ever so good and getting better.
    Chookylynn
    8th Jan 2016
    11:14am
    I am 65, and have been driving since I was 18. I have NEVER had either a speeding ticket or a drink driving ticket. I did have a few other problems when I was younger, but have not had so much as a parking ticket in the last 30 years. I wonder how many of the young whippersnappers who want older drivers off the road can say that. For that matter, I wonder if Mr Hartley can.

    If there is to be mandatory periodical re-testing of drivers, it should be for EVERY driver, not just those of a certain age group.
    student
    8th Jan 2016
    12:35pm
    I don't drive on the footpath so pedestrians shouldn't walk on the road.

    I once stopped at a 'Stop' sign but left after 1 week.
    particolor
    9th Jan 2016
    10:57am
    Ill bet Your glad that Traffic Lights change to GREEN ? :-)
    student
    12th Jan 2016
    8:36am
    particolor, it really annoys me when I have to stop the car, get out and press the 'walk' button then race back to the car and hope I can get through the stop lights before they change colour again. Honestly, things were so much easier on Shanks' Pony :)
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    8:49am
    Ive actually done that late at night !! :-( Struck a Red light that didn't change :-( Got out pressed the Pedo Button and proceeded :-)
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    12:52pm
    Last night on TV sorry can't remember what chanel maybe 7 and/or 9 the figures are 18 to 25 real bad then inbetween good then after 70 figures rise to many more (almost double) the 18 yr. to 25 yr.olds. I am not yet 70 however gave up driving/car last year due to artheritis. Taxi very much cheaper and a mobility scooter has changed my life to independent. As a m.scooter rider I can agree with those figures above. Running red lights instead stopping = poor reflexes, thinking off centre, being distracted by passengers, arthritis, not knowing they need to stop at footpaths for pedestrians (mobility scooter users). Mandatory testing by council officer ? or someone close by at 70 good idea for all around including over 70 driver.
    student
    8th Jan 2016
    1:08pm
    Jo, my Mother used to ride a gopher (motorised scooter thing) and was often told she needed to register her 'vehicle'. The police and DMR said no. However, she was still abused for driving on the footpath. There are two people in my street who use motorised scooters and they too get abused when in the main shopping centre, for being mobile on the footpath.

    I am approaching the big 70 and find I am staying home more because I am starting to get a little unsure of myself. However, once I am mobile, my confidence return. Is this part of the 'Getting-old-process'?? I refuse to grow up or mature, but I have never had a problem with getting old. Infact, I love it!!
    Adrianus
    8th Jan 2016
    1:27pm
    JoMojo, late last year in Perth there was a 92yo push bike rider with no helmet fatally injured in a collision with an 86yo motorist.
    I'm wondering why 18-25yo's, a 7 year demo is compared with all those over 70? A 20y plus demographic? Why not break it down to 7 year groups?
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    1:43pm
    Hey Student getting an independent mobility scooter is like getting a life..out doors ..meeting people for a g'day along the way is wonderful. Some scooter clubs popping up now.

    Stu ...don't call it a gopher thats American and a put down. We do not drive on footpaths ....we ride. Those who told her to register her 8 klm per hour scooter are probably those who do not know or forgotten the road rules after 40 yrs. or bit of alzheimers starting. Yes I do still get some smart ass's abusing me just stick your middle finger up tell em to look at road rules. Drunks coming out of pub car park trying to run me down told me to get off that thing, don't be lazy and walk. Walk I would if I could silly B's I snarled at em why do think I am on this B thing. I don't ride on the highways but we are allowed on any road where there is NOT a white line down middle (side road/service road) particularly where car/bin over footpath someone with a Bull mastiff dog champing at the bit to investigate my scooter. Yes people abuse me as they cannot hear me. Before the scooter i was knocked over by someone not hearing me (they came racing out of a shop with mobile stuck to their face) 2 way street tell em. Haven't been robbed from the back nor run into since scooter.

    Don't be put off Stu...go for it get your doctor to write you a referral to the nearest Government Health Service place in every council area for an OT to come and assess you for a mobility scooter if you a pension only could be free/little cost. Start getting around your place garden street on low 3 - 5klms hour then gather speed with confidence.

    Like your 'Tude dude" age is only a state of mined. Bytheway my son will get me number plates that say HELLS Granny anytime this comes in. Your like ?
    judu
    8th Jan 2016
    1:30pm
    Has anyone thought to ask the drivers who crash into buildings etc. if they drive with their left foot resting on the brake? I know of several people who used both feet in an automatic car that have been involved in similar accidents. At the time I got my licence 50 years ago my father owned an automatic car and the dealer stressed that he must not rest his left foot on the brake. I learnt on a manual car and my teacher was adamant that I follow this practice when driving the automatic. I have driven vintage cars with crash gearboxes and I was taught to respect my car. I have never been fined for speeding and have had very few accidents (I can hardly be blamed when a driverless car collided with mine or a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign.)
    I think it is very unfair to pick on older drivers when there are so many young people who have P Plates who are dangerous drivers.
    Adrianus
    8th Jan 2016
    2:47pm
    judu, you raise a very good point. I too have driven cars and trucks with a crash gear box. It reminds me of how very comfortable we are in sound proof air conditioned automatics these days. Many drivers do not pull over for emergency vehicles because they cannot hear them. Many kids these days get their licences in automatics. I think too much comfort can decrease spatial awareness. Perhaps it contributes to more awareness of the "box" we sit in rather than the surrounds. If that theory has legs then it may support the increase in road rage? Just thinking off the top of my head?
    particolor
    8th Jan 2016
    7:09pm
    Cheer up Folks ! :-( Get a Driverless Car !! :-)
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    7:13pm
    Driverless Cars (not on rails) ...as someone says May God help (you) us all ! Amen
    particolor
    8th Jan 2016
    7:21pm
    I'm getting one ! I'm gunna call it :JEEVES" :-)
    JoMojo
    8th Jan 2016
    7:45pm
    Let me know when you get it I'll make sure I'm not in same state (or planet).

    I'd call it Hells Angel !
    particolor
    8th Jan 2016
    8:02pm
    I've changed my mind ! I'm gunna call it "MISTER MAGOO" :-)
    Lookfar
    9th Jan 2016
    12:15am
    I would join the vote for 5 years mandatory testing for all drivers up to 70 as there are some shockers out there in the young to middle age groups.
    And some of them can't reverse park easily so a well known auto company is offering,
    Command Car Reverse Parking 4 Sensor Buzzer Alarm Kit

    Was: $119.00 each
    Now: $59.99 each
    Happy Jack
    9th Jan 2016
    3:47am
    What a joke! Work to 70 ( driving a train, flying a plane or driving a b double ) before being eligble for the pension, retire and lose your licence to drive a car all on the same day? These jerks who've never been out from behind a desk since primary school never fail to amuse me with their stupid statements.
    Lookfar
    9th Jan 2016
    9:55am
    Sorry Happy Jack I didn't mean to support the 70 age as a finish, just that maybe 3 year testing after 70 and for all those under 70 who fail their re-test, - just as a compromise suggestion.
    Geoff.
    particolor
    9th Jan 2016
    11:11am
    Old People Don't Drive !
    Joe Hockey...
    shirboy
    9th Jan 2016
    12:25pm
    I think it should depend on a persons driving record & medical reports.
    Adrianus
    9th Jan 2016
    12:43pm
    shirboy I think I'm leaning in favour of your view. If we are going to live to 150, that is a lot of unnecessary tests for many of us.
    Fiona
    9th Jan 2016
    1:14pm
    Absolutely agree.
    roy
    10th Jan 2016
    8:56pm
    Well said Frank and shirlboy.
    Dollars over Respect?
    9th Jan 2016
    3:09pm
    The majority of road accidents are the results of negligence (such as texting while driving, distraction, sleepiness) irritability (road rage, aggressiveness, impatient personality types), the affects of drugs and alcohol, illness (mental/physical) and inexperience (a steering wheel in the hands of an immature/hormonal thrill seeker). The implication that drivers who have reached 70 of years are a higher risk group than the rest is just unfair ageism once again. Age does have an effect of slowing down responses somewhat in some individuals, however, this does not automatically kick in as a problem at age 70. My observation is that the more you exercise a skill the better you remain. The experience gained by being a safe driver for 50 years plus and not affected by any the above disabilities outweighs a minor loss in response time surely (their response would still be faster than someone who has fallen asleep at the wheel/drunk/drugged). Wisdom and patience is essential - too quick a response can be fatal. The statistics used misrepresent the reality. The existing NSW requirements for over 75 year olds being required to take a medical and the over 85 year olds for re-testing every 2 years therefore seems more than adequate Assistant Commissioner Hartley!
    Not Senile Yet!
    9th Jan 2016
    5:33pm
    Over 70's are now 22% of fatalities....really????
    Based on what figures?.....from where?...in what year?
    22% of Total Fatalities? .....22% of over 70's Fatalities?
    Not very clear figure produced here....nor the information about where they were acquired either?
    Is no one aware of the fact that Australia's Population is ageing and thus there are MORE over 70's than ever before?
    Is the % based on apples and oranges in terms of numbers>???
    For Instance 100 over seventy last year but this year there was 160 over seventy????
    If you want annual reviews based on age then all people under 30 would have to be annually tested as well....because their accident rate is through the roof......and if your under 21.....some insurance companies want to charge 1/2 what your car is worth to insure you!!
    Blatant targeting a collective group....smarting statistics that are not well explained is a form of exploiting the stats.
    Next they will quote that all Religious people should get 50% discount on their insurance because they would never intentionally cause harm to anyone and ALL Government and Police should not have to be part of the statistics......as they are only enforcing the Law but are under duress!!!
    All bahh Poppyco///???!!! as far as evidence produced!!!!
    That's why he is only an Assistant Commissioner......he is there to try it on.....see if it will work!!!
    john
    9th Jan 2016
    5:44pm
    the greatest risk on our roads are the young P platers who have been brought up to think nothing will happen to them.
    particolor
    9th Jan 2016
    6:01pm
    Never get too close to one of them at a roundabout !! :-( They haven't got a Clue ?? :-(
    Fiona
    9th Jan 2016
    8:55pm
    Yes tonight I stopped to let a car with it's indicators on go around a roundabout as I was turning left. Went to go after when the car behind came swooping through with no indicators.
    I mouthed my annoyance to the young coot who deliberately kept going slow in front of me.
    particolor
    9th Jan 2016
    9:10pm
    Although we all stopped with our mouths open one day and watched an Old Lady drive around the Roundabout 4 times !! :-) Well it is a Roundabout ! :-)
    roy
    13th Jan 2016
    11:52am
    particolor. You're not paying for her petrol so why shouldn't she drive around the roundabout 4 times?
    Anonymous
    13th Jan 2016
    12:14pm
    Better that she keeps driving round than simply stop in the roundabout to check her street directory.
    particolor
    13th Jan 2016
    12:50pm
    Believe Me I've seen that too ! :-) And the best one was Stop in the Round About and Swap Drivers ?? P Plate !!
    Capn Dan
    9th Jan 2016
    6:00pm
    The first problem with this is quoting from a nasty toilet paper tabloid like The Daily Telegraph. Problem two is statistics. Perhaps more older people die on the road, but is it their fault? The smarties don't say that, so was it just a slow news day on the Smellograph? Pollies don't want to spend money on roads and cops want to look great while raising revenue. Yeah, make ANOTHER law to legislate 'safety' then let the cops loose to keep the numbers up.
    particolor
    10th Jan 2016
    7:48pm
    BEEP ! BEEP !!. " ROAD HOG !! " "Move Over" :-)
    roy
    10th Jan 2016
    8:54pm
    That is so childish, "nasty toilet paper tabloid" and then you call it the Smellograph. Are you even old enough to have a driving licence I wonder, time to grow up methinks.
    Can you not just comment sensibly?
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:15pm
    Gee, I thought describing the Tele as "a nasty toilet paper tabloid: was extremely sensible.

    It's rubbish.

    mick - Do you ever read the Sydney Morning Herald?
    Mzunga
    10th Jan 2016
    10:20am
    We travel every year to Kenya (charity work) and my husband, who is nearly 71 drives every day on the streets of Nairobi and out of town too (the troubled Mombasa Rd). I would like to invite Mr Hartley to drive 1 hour there and see who has more driving abilities. Below is a link to a nice video re: Driving in Nairobi.
    ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-jqmOb6GrI
    roy
    10th Jan 2016
    9:01pm
    Why do you travel to Kenya for charity work, do we not need charity workers in this country, Australia?
    Spitfire
    11th Jan 2016
    6:50am
    Perhaps Mr. Hartley should stick to what he is paid to do to uphold the law and concentrate on apprehending those who are breaking the road law. Unlicensed drivers and unregistered vehicles vast numbers in Sydney and NSW. The high risk P plate holders often not even displaying plates or not having them attached as required to be shown clearly identifying them as high risk to other road users and of course the drug users with impaired judgement. This clearly demonstrates his policy is to concentrate on the soft target and easy revenue.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    9:02am
    Spitfire - You lost all credibility with your final two words.

    Any revenue from road law breaking is a voluntary tax. One I choose to legally avoid.
    Spitfire
    14th Jan 2016
    6:45am
    Barak - I think you have lost the plot my last two words refer to elderly drivers being a soft target as a result of Hartley's proposed changes and easy revenue being revenue being from those who will continue to drive out of necessity should these changes ever be permitted.
    Anonymous
    14th Jan 2016
    7:23am
    Nobody is forced to drive.

    You're going to have to stop at some point. OK, you might argue that 70 is inappropriate, but at some point there has to be no "necessity".

    And I have this view that a good attitude is an essential part of good driving. A belief that the police are out to get you, in any way at all, cannot be part of a good attitude to driving.
    Placido
    11th Jan 2016
    12:02pm
    Perhaps John Harley is no longer at his best (he is after all almost 55), the statistics are most likely reflecting the increased demographic of aging drivers (we are an aging society)
    The sad fact is that a poor driver of 40 years of age will still be a poor driver at 70 +

    In my case I am currently 71, 3 years ago I did driver training for the RFS, passed the RTA test theory and practical and am now a licensed Mid Range Truck driver, last year when I was 70 I undertook a formal fork lift course, passed and am now a licensed fork lift driver for the next 5 years. according to Mr Hartley I should be reviewing whether I should continue to drive or not! It is an individual matter, some drivers should be retested every 5 years from day 1, might weed out some of the younger risks on the road.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:13pm
    Placido - thanks for writing "The sad fact is that a poor driver of 40 years of age will still be a poor driver at 70 +".

    It's so true, and I've been trying to find a way of wording it well for this thread for a few days now. You've beaten me to it.

    ;-)
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    12:13pm
    Placido - thanks for writing "The sad fact is that a poor driver of 40 years of age will still be a poor driver at 70 +".

    It's so true, and I've been trying to find a way of wording it well for this thread for a few days now. You've beaten me to it.

    ;-)

    11th Jan 2016
    3:35pm
    Anyone se ACAhad to bring on some old girl who agreed with it saying she had give hers up and so everyone else should lose theirs.Same as what happens with age pension married rate discussions, always some newly minted age pensioner married who comes on and says she lives well on it.
    Some people just want to see themselves on the TV. Bird brains. and that's insulting the birds. We have a resident blackbird who has lived in our garden for last 13 years. He had a damaged wing and we fed him and watered etc. Now he walks around with you if you are out in the garden.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    4:10pm
    Blackbirds dig up my garden. Ruin my vegies. Hate 'em

    But I take your point. Many birds are very smart.
    particolor
    11th Jan 2016
    4:26pm
    Black Birds are "Refugees" from England ! :-) They dig my garden up and toss it all over the Concrete paths !!:-(
    Be Kind to Animals ! :-) :-)

    11th Jan 2016
    3:42pm
    And I'm 77 and had a test at 75 - passed because apart from left leg being affected badly old injury can drive an auto and just had to have restricted to auto put onto my license. Mind you as I told doc - pretty obvious as had driven auto's for last 45 years. And yes I think docs could also have to report a person who can no longer drive due to a medical condition as some just are in denial. And the doc doing this must not be related to the person in any way. Perhaps go back to having Commonwealth docs for this as well as for disability support as when they did - didn't have so many people on it.
    Lookfar
    11th Jan 2016
    6:44pm
    Geoff's summary: Hi BigVal, I think you have a strong argument there, 2 me u get 2 the crux with the doctors repor. etc, and your acceptance and exact understanding of your situation. Mick has lost it on this issue, Barak is obsessed with his interpretation of speeding and revenue, - he is not all wrong but it is quite likely that Police Traffic cops do choose revenue earning sites, - just too many anecdotes, and I have some too.
    Happy Jack has good points, he lives driving, I have or used to have all classes of licence, Car, Light truck, Public Bus, Heavy Semi, Tow truck, Bulldozer, Crane, - which includes front end loaders, articulated and skid, and Crawler cranes, (even an electric train license) and for each area their specific dangers that a license is required to safeguard the public from.
    The statistics critiques in this discussion have it pretty well right, Hartridge should probably consider a new career, certainly if you drive cranes with that sort of background sloppiness you would not last long, nor would your mates nor your company.
    Just wanted to say that I feel your attitude brings some sense into this debate if only because of it's honesty , but more than that. G
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    6:56pm
    No matter where the police put their speed traps, they won't book you if you aren't exceeding the speed limit. So I don't.

    That option is available to everybody. It's a voluntary tax I'm perfectly happy for others to pay. But don't whinge here when you do.

    Is that really an obsession?
    Lookfar
    11th Jan 2016
    8:10pm
    No Barak,your self control thing is not really an obsession, just not the whole story, and although a good point and one we should all look at, we should always keep an eye to Windward, where the Govt. can bring down nasty squalls quite arbitrarily as they don't really live in our world. - Salutations, G
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    8:34pm
    Silly metaphors.

    You don't like the Police?
    roy
    13th Jan 2016
    2:28pm
    We have the finest police force that money can buy.
    Lookfar
    11th Jan 2016
    8:48pm
    Barak you need to listen to others, not make stupid criticisms, - each time you reply with a criticism you lower the whole tone of the debate.
    You will notice I did not dismiss you, dismissing is just not productive for this sort of group, nobody learns, so I just suggested to you that there were more sides to the story.
    If you approach each situation in life with love, rather than hatred, progress will be furthered.
    Anonymous
    11th Jan 2016
    8:59pm
    OK, do you love the police?
    ozziejorge
    12th Jan 2016
    10:25am
    I absolutely LOVE statistics ... but the INTERPRETATION leaves a LOT to be desired.
    Take the DUI stats: 25% of accidents have drivers who are over the .05 limit.
    GREAT ..... BUT that leaves 75% who have overdosed on fresh air / tea /cofee / Coca Cola, or plain water ..... or are dehydrated????
    STATISTICALLY, THESE are 3 TIMES more liable to have an accident......
    RIGHT!!!!!
    particolor
    12th Jan 2016
    2:07pm
    You just put me right off my Codral FORTES ! And Methedrine !! :-(
    phaxer
    14th Jan 2016
    3:41am
    I live in Central West NSW and have been driving for 50 years with only one major accident when I was 33. Collision with a truck carrying 300 sheep - the truck got a flat tire I got a flat car. I was taught at a very age to always be a defensive driver and to this day it's what I am. I have raced cars in many forms of motor sports and never crashed. Do I consider myself as a fully competent driver? Yes I do! I am 68 and I have 2 years to reevaluate myself. John Hartley older drivers do have accidents but a lot of younger P platers are accidents in waiting.
    BundyGil
    14th Jan 2016
    2:43pm
    Sure, older drivers are more prone to accidents than average, but then so are motor cyclists a danger, mainly to themselves, and under 25s, who are a danger to everyone and often take out other road users as they crash.
    Selecting one demographic is pointless. Testing over 75s is the key.
    phaxer
    24th Apr 2016
    11:19am
    I will reach 70 years of age next year. In my 50 years of driving I have accumulated 1 (one) demerit point in 1990. I have never had a accident that was my fault. Anyone who thinks I should relinquish my license will have to race me around Mount Panorama against my Alfa. Yes I do have racing experience. Why do I have a clean slate? I'm a defensive driver. I am always aware of what might happen and look for an alternative situation in order to survive
    particolor
    24th Apr 2016
    4:40pm
    Not to Skite, but I went one better than you, I have a clean Slate after 52 Years, not even a Parking Fine :-) I live by the rule of )K ! You want right of way ? YOUVE GOT IT !! Who am I to argue with a Big chunk of Metal ! :-) I have been in a Paddock a couple of times because a Semi or Rat Bag wanted the WHOLE ROAD !:-( But We survived without a Scratch :-) :-) Good Luck and Happy Motoring :-)
    SKRAPI
    25th Apr 2016
    11:06pm
    They don't want us in hospitals { we R taking up beds } They don't want us on the roads, they don't want old people to commit suicide but they want to squeeze whatever they can get out of us if we have saved anything or from the equity in
    our homes if we R lucky enough to own 1. They would like us to go to a nursing home if we can afford it . Have I missed anything ??
    particolor
    26th Apr 2016
    7:18pm
    Yeah ! Go to the Doctors!! Don't go to the Emergency Dept. at the Hospitals now You will be detained for Hours waiting for People in Garbage Bags !!! :-( :-(
    SKRAPI
    27th Apr 2016
    10:32pm
    i FORGOT TO ASK R POLITICIANS GOING TO HAVE THEIR HOMES ASSET TESTED AFTER ALL THEY GET A FAT PENSION
    particolor
    27th Apr 2016
    10:42pm
    That Wont Happen ! :-(
    Beemee
    27th Dec 2018
    6:49pm
    Medicals are a lie.
    https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/licensing/update/medical/professionals

    If you are being slugged 165 - 200 dollars a year, tell your doctor to take a hike.
    Every 5 years you do have a FULL medical, the other 4 years are based upon your records with your family doctor. If you have a pre-existing condition and it is unstable, then you have to have one annually. If you are in good health, you do not need it annually.
    Read the link, doctors are ripping people off and all I can say is they have never read the above that comes directly from the qld.government.


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