Wednesday 14 April 2010

Support for Elderly Motorists

A leading motoring lawyer in the region says there has been an increase in convictions involving older motorists and is calling for families to support elderly relatives.

Catherine Junor, a partner at Higgs & Sons, the largest legal practice in the Black Country, says the number of older drivers she is representing has spiked in the last six months, a worrying trend given that for many elderly people a driving licence is a lifeline.

Catherine explains: “One of my most recent cases involved an elderly woman, driving during the day, who accidentally shunted the car in front of her, in a queue of traffic in a busy town centre. Unable to pull over because of the traffic, she was later prosecuted for several offences, including failing to stop at the scene of an accident, which could have resulted in a custodial sentence.”

The experience, although resolved by Higgs & Sons in the client's favour, was a daunting and shocking experience for the both the motorist and her family. Catherine adds: “The case was referred by the lady’s son, who was shocked that his mother, an extremely careful driver, could face prison for what was a very minor incident involving no injury and minor damage.”

Catherine urges all elderly drivers or their concerned relatives, faced with a similar situation involving the Police or the Courts, to consult her immediately to avoid any unnecessary anxiety.

There are approximately 2.6 million people with a driving licence aged 71 to 80 and the law requires drivers to renew their licence on reaching the age of 70.

Age is no bar to the holding of a licence, with the DVLA requiring confirmation at the age of 70 that no disease or disability is present. Thereafter, a three-year licence is issued, subject to the satisfactory completion of medical questions on the application form.

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