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Should elderly display S-plates?

Driving instructor Andrew Gale says we have enough plates already.
Driving instructor Andrew Gale says we have enough plates already. Georja Ryan

THEY have long been victim of abuse hurled from the overtaking lane, but are the elderly really that much more of a threat behind the wheel than the rest of us?

Some seem to think so, with suggestions from a leading road safety researcher that S-plates be added to senior drivers' cars, much like P-plates and with similar restrictions.

AG Licensing driving instructor Andrew Gale of Warwick disagreed with the S-plate idea but said other measures should be considered.

"I wouldn't agree with S-plates, but they do need to maintain their skills," Mr Gale said.

"We've got enough plates as there is and there are plenty of bad drivers out there; they're not all seniors."

One Warwick man, Colin O'Brien, agreed and said more encouragement to renew your licence would be more beneficial.

"How about an annual driving test over the age of 70; pass or fail decides if you keep your licence," he said.

Warwick motorist Chantel Boodle thought S-plates were a brilliant idea and wished they had been introduced years ago.

A number of Daily News Facebook users agreed and some even deemed it "genius".

However, a Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesman said there was no need to introduce the S-plates in Queensland just yet.

"In the five-year period from 1 July, 2004, to June 2009, elderly drivers held 4.4% of all Queensland licences but were only involved in 2.7% of crashes," he said.

"There is no evidence that identifying older drivers will make any difference to the road toll."

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Topics:  department of transport and main roads, elderly drivers


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