Older motorists face driving and fitness assessments which could lead to people losing their licence

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Elderly drivers are being given the chance to avoid prosecution for motoring offences by taking part in a new police fitness scheme in a bid to boost road safety.

The new measures, set out by North Wales Police, North Wales Mobility and the Driving Assessment Service, aim to help people stay at the wheel as they get older.


The Fitness to Drive scheme looks to champion motorists over the age of 70 and help them drive more safely through education and engagement.

If an elderly driver in North Wales is involved in an accident, the police could refer them to the scheme, rather than fining or prosecuting them.

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The new scheme could see motorists lose their licence if they are deemed unfit to drive

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Inspector Iwan Roberts of North Wales Police’ Roads Crime Unit said: “This scheme is just one of the initiatives we have to reduce the number of people who are killed or seriously injured on the roads and is an excellent example of joint agency and partnership working.

“I must stress that this is not a driving test, but merely an assessment to help individuals to keep driving safely.

“The scheme will provide a vital choice for older drivers who wish to replace potential prosecution, points or a fine, with a positive alternative.”

When the driver arrives at the centre, based at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, they will receive a 20-minute interview where they will be assessed.

It will look at their driving history, any medical conditions potentially affecting their ability behind the wheel, as well as their physical and cognitive ability.

They will then take part in an eyesight test followed by a drive, which generally takes between 45 and 60 minutes, while an occupational therapist and an approved driving instructor will analyse their ability.

The two experts will then give feedback to North Wales Police, with the report determining whether they are safe to continue driving.

The verdict could also see motorists required to take part in further skills driving or they could be deemed no longer safe to drive and must stop driving indefinitely.

If someone is told they must stop driving, the original police incident report and the Fitness to Drive report will be sent to the DVLA who will make a final decision.

Gary Jones, of the Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service, said the organisation was very pleased that the scheme had been adopted by North Wales Police.

He added: “This positive approach assesses, educates and supports people to remain driving safer for longer as we understand the huge impact that ceasing driving can have on people’s lives.

“We are here to help confirm a driver’s fitness to continue driving and also to support them find alternative options available so they can retain their independence, if driving is no longer safely possible.”

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Elderly driver

Elderly drivers are required to renew their licence every three years once they turn 70

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A number of measures are already put in place to help motorists stay on the road once they get older, including having them renew their licence every three years, rather than every 10 years.

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