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    Driving in the Good Old Days

    Elderly Driver

    A new study commissioned by the UK Department of Transport has found that the number of over 60's caught in speed traps has soared in recent years. Reports featured in the Telegraph and Times reveal that older drivers are at least six times more likely to be fined for speeding than a decade ago.

    This would indicate that, before the widespread introduction of cameras, police officers were more likely to use their discretion, perhaps just giving a warning instead of a ticket, especially to elderly women who aren't traditionally associated with dangerous behaviour (there's been a 1,200% rise in penalty points for women over 60).

    Younger drivers are typically considered to be a much higher risk on the roads. But despite the bad reputation under 25's have for speeding, the increase in penalties for this age-group has risen by just 18%.

    Driving regulations have undergone a massive overhaul in the last few decades, so it's not surprising that some of those people who've been behind the wheel since the 1950s and 60s find it hard to adapt to the latest inflexible methods of road safety control. Using a speed you judge as safe may have been acceptable in previous years (and maybe even effective) but today's laws and traffic conditions leave no margin for interpretation.

    A survey conducted by the AA describes how most of those who can remember, claim that driving was at its best in the 1960s, when traffic levels were lower, and the roads were overseen by human beings instead of machines.

    It may have been a more pleasant era to drive in, but the road accident statistics prove that it certainly wasn't safer. 7,985 deaths were recorded in 1967, compared to 2,946 in 2007. Bad behaviour on the roads clearly isn't a new phenomenon. So however experienced you are, keep an eye on your speed this winter - it could save your life, as well as your money.

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