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Elderly driver surrenders licence while up in court for injuring cyclist

77 year old left cyclist in serious condition after collision

An elderly woman told a court in Devon that she felt it was time to surrender her driving licence after injuring a cyclist in a collision.

Irene Alexander, 77, of Brook Meadow in South Molton pleaded guilty to a charge of driving a vehicle without due care and attention at North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday.

In October, she had hit a female cyclist in Barnstaple, causing her several injuries including broken ribs.

The victim had to remain in hospital for seven days and was signed off from work for six weeks.

Lyndsey Baker, for the prosecution, said: ”The defendant confirmed to the police that she was the driver and said she had looked both ways before she pulled out but had not seen anyone approaching. The driver heard a bang and braked immediately and saw the girl in the road.

"During interview, Mrs Alexander said: 'I thought I had killed her, I never felt so awful in my life. I couldn't stand because I was shaking’,” according to the North Devon Journal.

Alexander asked her son to speak on her behalf to the court.

He said: "My mother deeply regrets what happened and is very sorry for the injuries. She had decided it is time to give up driving and has surrendered her licence. She lives on a state pension and lives on her own.”

Alexander has been disqualified from driving, fined £150 and ordered to pay £70 costs.

According to Cycling UK, although not as risky or at as much risk as younger drivers, drivers who are 70 or over are a higher risk group and more likely to be at fault than middle-aged motorists.

They campaign for the Government to seriously consider introducing formal re-tests for older drivers, saying: “The age at which the first re-test should be taken, and the frequency of subsequent re-tests, should be decided on the basis of evidence (i.e. on when reaction and hazard perception skills typically start declining for older age groups).”

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