Reader Letter: Car incident at flower show proves elderly people should retake driving tests

PUBLISHED: 15:31 20 July 2018

The scene of the incident at the flower show earlier this month. PHOTO: Estelle Furnell

The scene of the incident at the flower show earlier this month. PHOTO: Estelle Furnell


One reader thinks elderly drivers should have to retake tests to avoid further incidents. What do you think?

I, and I am sure many other people, was horrified and very angry to read the headline story on Monday’s paper concerning the incident at Burnham Flower Show. Thank goodness nobody was seriously injured.

I do not understand why the police are treating it as an “unintended acceleration” when it is clear that the lady driving was obviously incapable of driving due to some kind of mental inability. How can it be acceptable for someone to be in charge of a potentially lethal weapon when they can’t remember how to operate it without having to read the instructions each time?

If you were stopped by the police and found to be unfit to drive due to drink or drugs you would be arrested and subsequently banned. If this woman had seriously injured or even worse killed somebody would they have been so lenient?

From the reported wording of the “How to Drive” instructions on the dashboard I am assuming that the car was fitted with an automatic gearbox. Sadly this is not the first time that an elderly driver has caused mayhem and sometimes worse by getting confused and using the wrong pedal. The age of the lady was not reported and only stated as elderly but surely it is about time that re-tests should be introduced for the over 70s.

I sincerely hope that the lady in question received such a shock that she never gets behind the wheel again for the sake of herself and everybody else.

Finally, just to confirm that I myself am a pensioner and drive both a manual and automatic car and have never become pedal confused. I would also be more than happy to sit a re-test.

Do you agree with our reader? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at

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