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To report this elderly driver to the DVLA?

(128 Posts)
Omzlas Tue 12-Jun-18 20:50:00

Long time lurker - first time poster

Back story:
I have an elderly relative, let's call him Bernard. Early 80's, he has severe arthritis, osteoporosis, cataracts, fibromyalgia as well as a few other things. He takes a good cocktail of medication each day. Bernard has a car but isn't confident at all in his driving abilities these days but was a bit of a car fanatic in the past

Due to various disabilities, he can't lift his arms further than about 35 degrees (can't even get them out in front of him, zombie style), can't even drive '10 to 2' style and is unable to navigate left hand turns

Bernard regularly cuts across lanes, believing that he is in the right because 'that lane marking isn't correct, I'm in the right'. Bernard's reflexes are shot, he can't react to cars changing lanes etc

Would I be a complete cow to report this to the DVLA? AFAIK, Bernard has made them aware of his arthritis but nothing more, despite me telling him that he needs to. His condition isn't going to improve and he's aware of this but he's said that he won't consider stopping driving as he sees this as his last shred of independence. Bearing in mind that he's unable to do basic things like watering his plants, washing clothes or vacuuming, he gets his grandchildren to do things like this for him. I've mentioned stopping driving to him but his reply is along the lines of "I need to drive" but in the next breath says "it isn't like I drive far, I usually only go out once a week.

His driving is terrifying and if I ever go out with him, we take my car. I genuinely fear for our safety but I'm also worried that he'll end up hurting someone and/order himself.

Thanks if you've made it this far!

ltk Tue 12-Jun-18 20:53:05


ElinorOliphantIsCompletelyFine Tue 12-Jun-18 20:54:21

Omg, report.

CluedoAddict Tue 12-Jun-18 20:54:28

Yes report him. If he killed someone it would be on your conscience. We had to report my Grandad in similar circumstances. We were terrified he would kill himself or someone else.

AhoyDelBoy Tue 12-Jun-18 20:54:35

He's going to kill someone, Jesus wept! Please report.

Aridane Tue 12-Jun-18 20:55:36

What happens when you report?

Do the they investigate?

(Jane a similar situation)

WalkingOnAFlashlightBeam Tue 12-Jun-18 20:56:03

Yes report. Someone (including him) could get killed

TestingTestingWonTooFree Tue 12-Jun-18 20:56:12

Don’t most accidents happen within a couple of miles from home? Report him.

CluedoAddict Tue 12-Jun-18 20:56:32

They wrote to my Grandad and he had to attend a medical.

AuntieStella Tue 12-Jun-18 20:57:13

Anyone who thinks think is incompetent for medical reasons should be reported. It's not about age, it's about safety.

Iloveacurry Tue 12-Jun-18 20:58:11


wormery Tue 12-Jun-18 20:58:21

yes, you must report, to his doctor and the dvla. it's not safe for him to be on the road.

AddictedToRadley Tue 12-Jun-18 20:59:03

Agree with ITK that you should report him. Could you live with yourself if you stood by and watched whilst he killed himself, or worse still killed others - perhaps a young family?? It may take away some of his independence but roads are fast nowadays and full of other motorists. For me the only safe thing to do would be report, report, report (DVLA, GP, police, whoever needed to hear it to get his licence revoked). I know it’ll be hard to do but what if you knew he’d run over a young child one day? That’s a strong possibility from your description!

Good luck

SluttyButty Tue 12-Jun-18 20:59:48

I'd report him as cruel as it maybe. I have Arthritis everywhere including my spine. I do not drive because my reflexes are very impaired and I can't turn my head properly to look over my shoulder. I take public transport or lifts/taxis.

ForalltheSaints Tue 12-Jun-18 21:00:29

It is the right thing you can do for him and others on the road, to report him.

RomeoBunny Tue 12-Jun-18 21:03:23

Report him and then follow it up with a report to the police stating you believe he is unfit to drive yet he persists.

elliejjtiny Tue 12-Jun-18 21:04:03

You have to report him. I don't drive for medical reasons and it's a massive pain but I suck it up because I can't risk accidentally killing somebody.

Rocinante1 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:04:26

I had to almost throw my son over a garden wall when an elderly driver just drove right up towards us on the pavement. They came so fast, there was no time to run up or down to get out the way. I don’t know how I did it but I was swinging him over the wall before I actually realised I was doing it. I got injured legs, but it would have been my son’s head.

That woman should not have been driving. She was clearly infirm when she got out the car -doddering, stopped, confused and really old. Her relatives should have reported her. If she had crushed my son’s head, I’d have blamed them as much as her. Report him.

Catscakeandchocolate Tue 12-Jun-18 21:06:34

Report him. I only wish I had of followed my gut and reported DHs GF quicker. I did report him after yet another accident but unlike the others it sadly was not minor as no one else in DHs family would stand up to him or stop him but he hurt DHs GM quite badly which caused a rapid health decline and her death.

ChickenOrEgg6 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:06:42

When I was a kid my mum was hit by a man in his 70's (she had me in the car) totalled the car but mercifully we were OK.
Turns out he had a list of health conditions and couldn't see beyond the bonnet of the car...

DaffodilsAreMyFav Tue 12-Jun-18 21:06:44

You must report him - it's the right thing to do.

Stars1979 Tue 12-Jun-18 21:08:03

My Dad has MS and I took him to this driving place in Bristol to see if there was anything that could assist him to drive. His leg was dragging and didn’t have strength to lift his foot. However I was firmly of the view that his mind wasn’t able to function as before on driving. When he went he was adamant he was able to drive. After all the assessments and going out with various assisted items in cars, the assessor explained he shouldn’t drive anymore. They were really sympathetic and my dad agreed and I think he saw it as a relief and sent his licence to DVLA. Would he consider something like this?

MissVanjie Tue 12-Jun-18 21:11:21

Oh god, report

My friend was dinged on her bike the other week by an old dear who was right up her arse and drove the wrong way down a one way street, in the cycle lane bit of it, with her wheels going bump bump bump over the bollards marking the boundary of it, who proceeded to be all ‘really? What? No! But i didn’t see you’ when challenged. Another woman and i both happened to be passing as it happened - it was CHILLING how little awareness this driver had, she could easily kill someone. My friend reported. Why wouldn’t you? There are too many cars on the roads as it is, if a good chunk of them are being driven dangerously it has to stop.

owlonabike Tue 12-Jun-18 21:13:59

As an adult, Bernard has the right to choose to take risks with his own life/ health. Utterly selfish though to risk injuring/ disabling/ killing someone else. If you can’t make him see sense, please please phone the DVLA for advice. If they say nothing can be done without his consent, ask the police or write to his doctor. Last resort- take his keys and wait for him to call the police - all hell might break loose but you’ll have done the right thing. (All of the above is assuming that his grandchildren can’t/ won’t stop him driving.)

As you can tell, I feel really strongly about this. My dad drove for much longer than he should because “ I only do short distances.” We were about to report him, when he gave up the car- he had a near miss and the taxi driver he nearly hit followed him and gave him a real bollocking.

Good luck; it’s not an easy situation for anyone. Getting old and infirm is hard.

Andrewofgg Tue 12-Jun-18 21:16:34

A driver like this knocked DW over and she has never fully recovered.

Report. Now.

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