Disaster averted as pensioner drives wrong way on A14

DISASTER was narrowly averted on the A14 in Suffolk after police stopped a pensioner driving the wrong way along the carriageway with no lights on.

DISASTER was narrowly averted on the A14 in Suffolk after police stopped a pensioner driving the wrong way along the carriageway with no lights on.

By the time the car was pulled over the man in his 70s from Eye had already collided with two cars.

A police spokesman said the 72-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving but after an assessment in custody at Bury Police Station it was decided he was unfit for detention and was taken to a relative’s house in Stowmarket.

Police were alerted after they received a string of calls after 8.25pm on Wednesday, from people saying they had spotted the Ford Focus driving westbound in the eastbound carriageway near Woolpit.


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The spokesman said a police helicopter was launched to keep track of the vehicle while they initiated a rolling road block for the safety of other drivers.

She said: “Officers tracked down the silver Ford Focus driven by the 72-year-old and managed to stop it. The car had been in collision with two other cars but no-one was hurt. After he was taken to a relative’s house it was decided the best course of action was to hand the file over to the DVLA and our Road Safety Unit in Lowestoft to see if any further action would be taken.”

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The incident occurred the day after the RAC Foundation produced a report which said people over 70 should not have to retake their driving tests every 12 months.

The report was in response to proposals from the DVLA which could see all over 70s being asked to take the driving test again after figures showed they were more likely to be seriously injured or killed on the road than younger drivers.

A spokesman from the Automobile Association (AA) said incidents of people driving the wrong way on carriageways were not exclusive to elderly people.

He said: “I would say the police took the right course of action. The RAC Foundation’s report does not take into account the fact that the same injuries for a young person are far worse for the elderly and more likely to kill them. From our statistics the 70 plus age group have very similar accident rates to the 18-25 age group.”

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