River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Wretired from Wretton writes to the Editor

September 2011

Dear Mr Editor,

You know there are some old duffers driving on the roads these days, and some of these duffers are not so old!

Your younger readers (ie those under the age of 65) will not have yet had to face my problem. This concerns those drivers who for one reason or another have reported a medical condition to the DVLA. Being in this category, the DVLA only issue driving licences to run for 3 years and we need to re-apply for licence renewal backed up, as the DVLA see fit, with detailed medical reports from one’s GP and consultants. Living in the country virtually compels us to be reliant on our own transport and the lack of a licence to drive would have far reaching consequences indeed.

So as my licence comes up for renewal as I write, I thought I would get my retaliation in early. On an industrial estate in nearby Thetford is the East Anglian Driving Ability Centre, (EADAC) who are authorised to carry out driver assessment on their premises using sympathetic interviewers, simulators and a short trip around the streets of Thetford. On the advice from my consultant some years ago, I have now had 3 assessments, the last one only a couple of months ago. Needless to say I passed with distinction each time. But my serious point here is that this assessment gives you an objective opinion of one's own ability and they can advise you on how to improve or the type of vehicle that may be more suitable.

I learnt to drive in rural Hampshire, I had had no formal lessons when I first took my test, which I failed, probably the examiner didn’t appreciate my handbrake turn as my interpretation of a 3-point turn. After 2 formal lessons, I then passed. Many in my age group and older probably have similar experiences. I am not sure whether my father, who’s 93 and still driving, ever passed a formal test. But the EADAC is available to all and especially those of us recovering from illness or medical conditions should consider taking an assessment. They are there not to ban you, but to help and advise and keep you mobile. So perhaps, all of us, medical condition or no, when we have reached 3 score years and 10, should trip along to the EADAC. It costs 90 pounds plus VAT if applicable and is well worth it if as a result the chance of a serious accident is reduced.

Yours sincerely

Wretired in Wretton

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