A HEARTBROKEN widow whose husband died after he was run over by a 90-year-old man at a petrol station has demanded the Government introduce annual testing for elderly drivers.
Stephen Priddey, who was a former partner of Bromsgrove-based Harrison Priddey accountancy firm and a member of Bromsgrove Hockey and Cricket Club, was knocked down and dragged under an Audi A3 driven by Leslie Gaskins when the pensioner pressed the accelerator instead of the brake while reversing.
Mr Priddey, 66, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham after suffering serious head, pelvis and leg injuries following the incident at Central Stores at the junction of the B4027 and B4197 in Martley on September 17 last year.
His distraught wife Shona made the call for change in a statement issued through her solicitors at Irwin Mitchell and demanded mandatory testing to be introduced for drivers over 75 years old to prove they are not a danger to the public.
She spoke out after Gaskin, from Martley, was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court last Wednesday, having pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
He was given a two-year jail sentence suspended for two years, disqualified from driving for five years and will be asked to take an extended driving test should he wish to regain his licence.
“What makes it even harder to come to terms with is that his death was so unnecessary. No sentence will bring Stephen back,” said Mrs Priddey.
“If any good can come out of Stephen’s death it would be through the introduction of annual mandatory driving tests for elderly drivers, not only to protect other road users but the drivers themselves.
“For many elderly people, driving helps them maintain their independence which is important especially in rural areas, but what is more important is they should be able to prove they are not a danger to the public so other families don’t have to suffer the heartache we have because of Stephen’s death.”
Mr Priddey was married to Shona for 14 years and also leaves behind a 13-year-old daughter.
He enjoyed playing rugby, cricket and hockey as well as running and had just completed a five-mile run before he was killed.
“Stephen was such a charming, warm and lovely person who was well liked by everyone who knew him,” she added.
“We still can’t believe he is no longer part of our family and there is not a day goes by where we don’t think of Stephen and all the plans we should be making and memories we should be creating.”
What do you think? Should elderly drivers be tested annually?
Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to the Standard at the address on page ten.