Do we need tougher tests for elderly drivers? – Zella Compton

I have a feeling that the saga of Prince Philip and his driving incident is going to rumble on for some time.  For those at the back of the queue, apparently Prince Philip pulled out into the road in front of another vehicle, causing his car to roll, and a fair bit of damage to the other one too.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 4:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:33 pm
The Duke of Edinburgh, 97, who was left "very shocked" and shaken when the Land Rover Discovery he was driving collided with a Kia as he drove near the Queen's Sandringham estate

We’re told it’s a ‘miracle’ that he escaped unhurt – my definition of that word is a little different.

The first I heard of the accident was from his biographer, Gyles Brandreth, on the radio, gabbling on about how the prince likes speed, how he often drives too fast, how the Queen doesn’t like the way he drives.

Seriously, how many excuses can one man drip out about another one, in that forgiving chum-licking way of loving the royals? 

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I’m pretty sure if it was an ordinary citizen that caused this to happen, one without the wealth and privilege, there would be a whole different attitude to a 97-year-old man, who likes speed, who often drives too fast, whose wife doesn’t like his driving, pulling out in front of another car.

I’m pretty sure, had Gyles bothered to go on the radio for a mere member of the public, he’d be talking about the need for re-doing driving tests, of idiocy, of respect for other car users.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for everyone being able to carry on driving for as long as they can do so safely. 

But I see a few elderly people causing driving hiccups – no lights on, trouble parallel parking, or getting into a supermarket car park bay.

Or going super-slowly. 

 We’re all very happy to blame young men for aggressive driving, but where is the accountability at the other end of the scale?

Does an eye test and self-declaration really work for the rest of us?

After all, we can all declare ourselves fit for many things, thinking that a little bit of poetic licence is acceptable.

But when it comes to a driving licence, the right to drive on our roads and endanger everyone else, a simple flamboyant agreement that you’re up for the task doesn’t, and shouldn’t, work.

Breastfeeding ultrarunner’s determination is phenomenal

Last week in the news came the amazing story of an ultrarunner who won the Montane Spine Race challenge, 268 miles across the Pennine Way, and whopped a massive 12 hours off the previous time. 

A record breaker in a male and female field. And, best of all, Jasmin Paris has a one-year old child and at rest stops she’d pump milk to feed her as she ran the mountain tops.

I keep thinking about the challenge and determination and the likelihood of me doing anything like that when I was breastfeeding.

If I remember correctly, in the first year of motherhood I’d had a successful day if I managed to do a load of washing – and hang it out (the clothes, not the baby). 

Picking through the ashes of Fyre Festival is fascinating

I watched the Fyre Festival documentary on Netflix with such interest.   

It’s the tale of a festival organiser who promised a weekend of glorious sun, sea, sand and music in the Bahamas – and failed to deliver the results. 

Hundreds of people paid vast sums to attend, and hundreds of other people invested their time and energy into trying to make it happen, only to not get paid. 

It was awful for those workers out of pocket, but hugely interesting that the wonderful world of our camera-obsessed lifestyles meant that so much footage was captured and the documentary could be made.

Watch it if you’ve had a bad day – hardly anything could compare to that mess-up.