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KBGS Old Boys' Forum

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KBGS Old Boys' Forum
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Advanced Driving

A while ago, I sat at a table outside a coffee shop in Aldeburgh drinking a cup of coffee and enjoying the sunshine. Cars were parked along the street, nose into the pavement - hardly a space to be found. As I sat there, an elderly lady got into her car, started the engine, put it into gear, looked over her shoulder and promptly drove the car forward through a shop window! Fortunately nobody was hurt but the shop window was wrecked. She’d mistakenly selected the wrong gear.

I was reminded of that incident when an article caught my eye as I was scanning through the paper this morning. The article is about a lady whose children had effectively banned her from driving after she was discharged from hospital. She had spent nine weeks there recovering from injuries she had acquired in a road accident. The lady had driven into a group of people waiting alongside the road for a bus and several of them had sustained injuries too - injuries which required hospitalisation. The lady driver was 75 years old and she had no recollection whatsoever as to what had caused the accident. However, you can easily see why the kids banned their mother from driving a car again even though she still held a valid driving licence.

This got me thinking. I am way past my allotted life span of three score years and ten. God has already granted me a 20% in bonus years and I am still driving. I drive every day! There must must be thousands of pensioners, perhaps a few aged 100 years old, who hold valid driving licences and who regard their car as an essential lifeline to the outside world. How else would they get their groceries and maintain social contacts? How else would I get to the annual Old Boys Lunch?

Not many.years ago things were different. Families tended to continue to live in close proximity of their birthplace and in many instances, grandparents lived with their married children. That was the case in our family. Car ownership was the exception rather than the rule. Shopping was done locally and daily - you didn’t drive to a supermarket to stock up for the week!

There is a minimum age when one can hold a driving licence. Should there be a fixed age when the licence tto drive is revoked? I hope not! I stil think myself a competent driver? I am sure that I am far more responsible than many newly qualified drivers - and I’m far more experienced. But are my reflexes and reactions as sharp as they once were?

Several of my contemporaries have surrendered their licences and I seriously wonder how they cope. When should we give up driving? Gosh, It’s a very difficult subject isn’t it? I just hope I will be able to recognise when I should give up my licence and be brave enough to do so.

Anyone out there surrendered their licence? How do you manage?

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Advanced Driving

Apparently there’s a very large overhead sign on Edinburgh City Bypass that asks: “Is your eyesight fit to drive”? If I could’ve read it, I would’ve been tempted to say: “It’s me driving, not my eyesight”. Those signs just aren’t large enough to permit Kenny Prutt standards of grammar.

Current location (optional) Edinburgh

Re: Advanced Driving

Thanks for the response Allan. i was beginning to think that everyone had gone in to hibernation

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1945 - 50

Current location (optional) Norfolk

Re: Advanced Driving

My father , Bob, drove until 85 or so, but at his funeral last week (he was 97, some of you may have known him), a cousin of my mothers drove over from Burley , he is nearly 89. The DVLA reported there were over 1000 drivers over 90.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Advanced Driving

What's all this my father stuff. I'm 85, my wife is 86 .Just bought a new car and tonight out for dinner with my son 70miles away and back home later .A few more years to go I hope

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 43-46

Current location (optional) Tasmania

Re: Advanced Driving

In my fathers case, he was doing so little miles to justify the cost of tax/insurance, he didn't stop for health reasons

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 58-64

Current location (optional) Wirral

Re: Advanced Driving

We have a friend who is 93. She gave up her licence when she was 88 because of some physical problems. When she was 90 she felt fully fit again and so took her test and passed. Drove to Dorset to visit her daughter. Handed her licence in again at 92. Doesn't need it any more. Others will drive her around.
As regards whether there should be an automatic aged at which a licence should be revoked - seems to me it should be at the age when the right to vote is revoked.
I think that an OFSTED-type inspection of the driving abilities of all drivers with, say, a random selection of 2% of motorists being inspected every year would be fun.

Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) 1958-65

Current location (optional) Leeds