Entertainment

Johnny Ball says proposed restrictions on older drivers are terrible

The TV host, 82, said he was a better driver now than he had been as a young man.

TV presenter Johnny Ball has described proposed new rules for older drivers as “terrible”, saying it would be wrong to restrict people.

The 82-year-old, who was a regular fixture on children’s television in the mid 1970s and 1980s, said he “dreaded” losing the ability to drive.

However, appearing on Good Morning Britain, Ball said he was a better driver now than he had been in his 20s and 30s.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is reported to have held discussions about new rules with Driving Mobility, the network of driving assessment centres.

Under the proposals, drivers over 70 who are in poor health may be allowed to continue driving if they agree to abide by curfews and restrictions on how far they can travel.

Ball, father of BBC Radio 2 host Zoe, said: “We are living longer and I think it is terrible to put these restrictions.

“Of course some people can’t drive when they are older but if you can you can’t restrict people. If there is one thing I dread in getting older it is losing the ability to drive.

Zoe Ball
Zoe Ball (Lia Toby/PA)

“In my 20s and 30s I had quite a few accidents. Over the last 30 years none at all, absolutely none at all.”

Questioned by co-host Susanna Reid about whether he really thought he was a better driver now, he replied: “I certainly am.”

Speaking about his forthcoming tour dates, he added: “When my road trip starts up again, which is very soon, I will be doing 100 miles, a two-hour show, and then 100 miles back. And I love it, I absolutely love doing it.”

Ball said he rarely felt tired when driving and always ensured he had his “blood sugar up”.

He added: “I just love driving. It’s lovely and the adrenaline is still flowing when I have done a show and I feel absolutely fine.”

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