The idea floated earlier this week of older drivers being asked to display an ‘S-Plate’ similar to the L or P-Plates for new drivers has continued to draw heavy criticism from grey nomads and others.
Insurer QBE found itself in the firing line for the suggestion, and was accused of singling out drivers for special treatment because of their age, rather than their driving record. QBE suggested an opt-in “S1, S2” system where seniors would obtain scores from black box-style devices installed in their cars. These scores might be able to be submitted to licensing authorities in place of prescribed medical tests and driving exams.
National Seniors Australia chief, David Carvosso, led the chorus of complaints, labelling the idea as ‘ageist’ and accusing it of targeting older people unfairly and inappropriately.
“If we’re going that way – why not apply labels based on performance behind the wheel, regardless of age,” Mr Carvosso said. “If you’re a speeder, maybe you get an “SP”, if you’re a drink driver, maybe a “DD”.
A QBE spokeswoman told the Sydney Morning Herald it welcomed any community discussion regarding driver safety.
“The issue of ‘S’ plates and the use of driving tests is a matter for state regulators and QBE is not calling for a restricted licensing regime for older drivers,” she said.
* What special plates can you suggest for which sorts of drivers? Comment below.