By CINDY LYNCH
PRINCE Philip’s lucky escape from a car crash that saw the Land Rover he was driving roll onto its side surprised many.
Not just for the fact the 97-year-old Duke of Edinburgh came away from the crash uninjured, but that the near centenarian was still able to drive.
In Britain, driver’s licences expire at the age of 70 and from then on, you must renew your licence every three years.
In Australia, the rules are more stringent and there have been calls for them to be tightened further.
In NSW, drivers from the age of 75 must start annual medical assessments to retain a licence.
When you reach 85, in addition to the annual medical examination, you must pass a practical driving test every second year to keep your unrestricted drivers licence.
Passing his first age test with flying colours, Chipping Norton resident Ray Chapman, 75, says he believes 97-year-olds should not be behind the wheel despite their fitness levels.
“Everything slows down when you age, not just physical reactions but mental too and I believe that we have the right system here with our annual GP assessments and practical driving tests after 85,” Mr Chapman said.
‘I’m lucky as I play a lot of golf and have good hand eye co-ordination; I also travel 200km to my holiday house at Sussex Inlet fairly regularly.
“My son Lyle would like me to take a break on that trip but I usually do it in one hit.
“Though I certainly wouldn’t if I was feeling a bit weary.
“I used to drive into the city for work as a CEO manager everyday for 40 years and am pleased I don’t have to do that anymore more as everyone seems to be in so much more of rush these days and there are lots more cars on the roads.”