§ Mr. Gareth Wardell
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he is aware of any research that has been undertaken in the United Kingdom to assess the effectiveness of medical tests for the renewal of driving licences in promoting road safety in general and that of elderly road users in particular; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Peter Bottomley
I am aware of a study of London Transport bus drivers carried out in the 1970's. This indicated that notification of ill-health led to substantially more retirements of drivers on medical grounds than did routine age-related medical examinations.
All applicants for driving licences (first-time and renewal) are required to answer health questions. Current licence holders must notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre of any medical condition which may 131W affect their ability to drive safely. Where appropriate the DVLC can investigate the medical condition of any licence holder or applicant. Given the evidence that medical condition does not constitute a significant factor in accidents, there seems no case for changing these arrangements.