The U.K. Times reports that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is submitting a proposal that all motorists 75 years and older be required to pass a written exam and an eyesight test to obtain their license. The tests are then repeated every five years.

The DVLA is basing its proposal on the increased number of 70 plus year old drivers on the road due to higher life expectancy and the elderly's desire to maintain an active lifestyle. The proportion of people 70 years and older still driving increased from 15% in 1975 to 47% in 2004. The Institute of Advanced Motorists points to studies that show elderly drivers have a greater chance to be involved in injurious or fatal accidents with causes ranging from slowed reaction time, to confusion over traffic rules and complex road configurations.

While there are current laws in the U.K. requiring elderly drivers to declare medical conditions that might affect their driving, DVLA’s research shows only 10% of affected drivers admit their condition.

Remarkably, the article reports this interesting factoid: as of November 2005, there were 34 licensed drivers in the U.K. aged 101 plus.