Judge warns families over elderly drivers

A judge has warned families that they need to take responsibility for ensuring elderly relatives stop driving before they become a danger to themselves and others.

The warning came after a 90 year old retired doctor killed another motorist by driving the wrong way down the A30 in Hampshire. Dr Turner Waddell, who had vision below the legal limit for driving, and was in the early stages of dementia, was travelling west on the eastbound carriageway when he crashed into Neil Colquhoun’s Vauxhall Vectra on a bend at 70mph.

Quoted in The Daily Telegraph, Judge Keith Cutler said: “If there is any message that should come from this it should be that the elderly and those that care for them – their families and doctors – should think very, very carefully about whether the elderly should still be able to drive on the road.

“There is sometimes a form of arrogance that one can carry on exercising a right to drive when that should not be done.”

Amazingly, the pensioner and his wife survived the accident (that is a real testament to Volvo, albeit not one they can ever mention), and Dr. Waddell was given a nine-month suspended sentence, and banned from driving for life, after admitting a charge of causing death by careless driving at an earlier hearing.

The mother of the deceased said, that drivers should be forced to take a retest at the age of 70 and urged families to confront elderly relatives who get behind the wheel.