100-year-old Italian woman celebrates renewal of driving licence

·2-min read
An ageing population means older drivers (Getty Images)
An ageing population means older drivers (Getty Images)

A woman in Italy has had her driving licence renewed at the age of 100.

Candida Uderzo, from the northern province of Vicenza, was assessed as fit to drive after passing a vision test at her local driving school.

She spoke of her delight at retaining her licence and of the freedom it awards her.

“This renewal makes me happy and will make me feel a little bit freer too,” Uderzo told Corriere della Sera, an Italian newspaper.

“I’m lucky, I’m 100 years old, and being so healthy is a surprise to me too. I never take tablets, just the odd sleeping pill once in a while.”

After her husband died while the couple were in their fifties, Uderzo decided to focus her life on the pursuit of pleasure.

“I decided that staying alive meant enjoying it as much as possible,” she said.

“I started going for long walks with friends - it helped me to deal with the grief. After retiring, I joined a walking group and haven’t missed an outing since. Every Sunday at 6am I am ready to go.”

Uderzo is now one of just three centenarian’s in the country assessed as fit to drive a car in recent years.

Data published by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in February this year reveals that 361 people in the UK aged 100 or older currently possess a valid driving licence.

They do note that this figure does not mean all individuals are “actively driving”, resident in the UK or alive, however.

And in 2018, the number of licence-holders aged 70 or above exceeded five million for the first time.

Under current rules, drivers must renew their licence upon reaching their 70th birthday and then every subsequent three years.

Despite concerns about the suitability of senior drivers on the road, statistics reveal that younger drivers pose more of a risk.

AA president Edmund King said: “Young, predominantly male, drivers are much more likely to crash within six months of passing their test than older drivers within six months of hanging up their keys.

“Older drivers often self-restrict their driving by not driving at night and only driving on familiar roads.”

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