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How can I stop my parents from driving?

Menston134

Registered User
Feb 26, 2016
1
Hello,
Can anyone help? Both my parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they have been stopped from driving by the DVLA. They are refusing to hand over the car keys and I know that they are still driving. I feel that reporting them to the police would not help matters as they would have no recollection of events after a few days.
 

disi

Registered User
Aug 4, 2014
5,722
Ex pat living in Sweden
Hello,
Can anyone help? Both my parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they have been stopped from driving by the DVLA. They are refusing to hand over the car keys and I know that they are still driving. I feel that reporting them to the police would not help matters as they would have no recollection of events after a few days.
Have both your parents been told by the doctor not to drive? When my husband was told, he wanted to carry on driving but I said he had to listen to the doctor and I managed to take the keys away. I know it is a very hard decision, but for their own safety and that of others you have to be strong. Good luck xx
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,025
Scotland
You must inform the police so they can impound the car. Otherwise they may kill or injure themselves or someone else.
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,605
Chester
I removed my mum's keys and told her she couldn't drive. Her car wasn't insured as she has forgotten to renew it and had no road tax. She had been driving for 9 months without insurance. She lived 200 miles away and I didn't have an inkling of the issues and a big crisis happened, meaning she couldn't' return home so was at my house which made it easier.

I suspect she hadn't been safe to drive for at least a year and maybe 2, and despite the enormity of everything else that I had to deal with at the time, kept having nightmares as I had let her drive with my then 8 year old son in the car, and things we had been concerned about all clicked into place (such as crossing a busy dual carriageway and not 'seeing' cars and nearly getting knocked over - several times over an 18 month period).

She was very upset about not being able to drive, and I just kept telling her the car wasn't insured, it took her about 6 months to stop it being a bugbear.

I have seen others on here that have disabled the car (the rotor arm removed works in a petrol car), but ultimately if they have been advised by DVLA that they can no longer drive they aren't insured either and you need to take every step you can to stop the risk of them injuring or killing someone.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,891
London
Subterfuge.

Say the car is due an MOT and offer to drive it to the test centre. Then "discover" multiple problems that need repairing. For a very long time.
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,891
London
They may be adults but they are vulnerable adults with diminished capacity who have been told by the DVLA to stop driving. Not sure you'd like it if they ran someone over because everyone else was letting them get on with it, minding their own business!
 

jugglingmum

Registered User
Jan 5, 2014
5,605
Chester
We all have a moral duty to keep people safe, which particularly applies when people are no longer aware of their capabilities. So taking action to prevent one's parents from driving when they are no longer capable of making that judgement is part of being a responsible member of society and fulfilling that moral duty
 

Missy

Registered User
Dec 18, 2006
70
Imagine if they drive without insurance and having in effect been banned, and kill someone. Imagine the nightmare of a court case etc.
 

Hair Twiddler

Registered User
Aug 14, 2012
892
Middle England
In the short term - disable their car. I'm pretty sure that previous posts have suggested very inventive and easy ways to do this.
In the long term - you and they will have a larger and more challenging task in your hands - a life whereby they can still visit shops, friends, the doctors,their local haunts - all without a car. Daunting...but you must start the ball rolling and soon.
 

grove

Registered User
Aug 24, 2010
7,723
North Yorkshire
Tough. Call............. !

But it MUST be done. , before either of them are hurt or they cause a accident. :( Agree with another T P"er. Say the. Car needs a MOT. Or. Disable. The. Car your self


Also. Find a soltuation. Too. not. Driving e g.
Dail. A. Ride. Mini. Bus. Or Taxi Account. Etc.

Would you. Be. Able too burrow the. Car. ? & Disable. It. ?


Hope that helps. ! & informing the police is also. A. Good. Idea. Blame them for banning your parents from not. Driving


Good luck

Grove. X x

.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,692
Yorkshire
Hi Menston134
welcome to TP - lots of sympathy and information here

I was 'lucky' with dad, he had a problem with his eyesight which he accepted as a reason for giving up driving.
Do your parents have any other ailments that could be used as a reason they would accept?
I do agree with the others - if they are still driving, it would be awful if they hurt someone else, so you have to find a way to step in - Beate's MOT suggestion is promising
I do wonder whether a visit from the police would at least persuade your parents to hand over their car keys to someone in uniform, so that you are not seen to be the 'bad guy' in all this

Very sensible of others to consider alternatives - is there a local 'community' bus service - we have one which can be booked to pick up from home
or open an account with a suitable taxi service - many are now signing up to the Dementia friendly schemes - if they have an account no cash will be needed for each journey
 
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TrixieB

Registered User
Jul 2, 2015
20
Disable car

I had the same problem with dad and after a small accident told him that he was uninsurable now and took the car away.
But a potato up the exhaust pipe is an easy way to disable the car without being caught under the bonnet!
Good luck!
 

Bod

Registered User
Aug 30, 2013
1,218
There comes a time

There comes a time when you have to do, what you've got to do.
Despite the trouble caused.

Good luck, it won't be easy.


Bod
 

grove

Registered User
Aug 24, 2010
7,723
North Yorkshire
More Ideas ..........

When I had the same problem with my Father I discussed with my Sister & we both agreed. That Dad would have been mortified if he had caused a accident. Would that work with your parents. ?


Also I phoned the Altz. Society head office. & they sent me a free booklet about this problem.


It was very useful even tho did not show it too Dad
Mum would have been :( as she had problems accepting Dad was not safe too
Drive ( Mum can still drive )


For. All your sakes you must.start acting sooner rather than later.



Good luck.


Grove. X .
 
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Nellybell

Registered User
Feb 5, 2016
28
When I stopped my dad from driving I used the excuse of his GP saying he had to stop driving, done with GPs knowledge and consent. I was dreading it but to be honest it was almost a relief for Dad as he admitted he was getting very worked up by the thought of driving places, (he had had a few occasions where he got himself completely lost and into a right old state). It was difficult to start with, he felt trapped in the house but we sorted a taxi firm out for him and I would take him out as much as possible.
 

Enlorac

Registered User
Oct 12, 2015
2
Oxfordshire
Hello,
Can anyone help? Both my parents have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they have been stopped from driving by the DVLA. They are refusing to hand over the car keys and I know that they are still driving. I feel that reporting them to the police would not help matters as they would have no recollection of events after a few days.
My daughter and I have been there with my dad = we simply looked around the house for both sets and took it in turns because I knew they'd be hidden. My dad didn't even ask as he has moderate vascular dementia and dosen't want to drive but my mum was furious. She dosen't drive and her reasons were selfish so yes not pleasant but take the car keys away.

Let me just say if the DVLA have sent them a letter to say their licence has been revoked i.e they are not to drive they are breaking the law. If caught driving they will be arrested and could go to prison if a fatal accident was caused. This is what their GP has told me + plus with Alzheimers/Dementia they won't be covered by insurance.
 

DaveM

Registered User
Feb 16, 2016
42
Houghton Lake, MI U.S.A.
A potato up the exhaust pipe will disable a car, but if the car has a really weak rotten muffler, and the driver is flooring the gas trying to get the car running, it can really get exciting. (Please don't ask me how I know this! :p) All I am going to say is that I had to buy a college roommate a new muffler for his Vega about thirty years ago, and I don't drink any more either.
 

onlyme1

Registered User
Sep 10, 2011
105
scarborough
stopping driving was 1 of the biggest issues for my dad, having been a motor mechanic all his working life. even before he was diagnosed I would regularly borrow his car just so he couldn't drive, saying mine was broken. when he got the DVLA letter he began to accept it but I still have bad dreams where him or mum are driving and I'm in the back desperately trying to reach the controls. seriously though, as others are advising, do whatever you have to:- they must not drive. x
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,617
USA
Menston134, in case nobody has said, welcome to TP. There is lots of good advice and information and support available here.

I'm sorry to hear of the challenging situation with your parents and the driving. As I'm sure you have gathered by now, many of us have been there.

I will just say that my mother (73, Alzheimer's, no short term memory) drove longer than she should have and I passed many sleepless nights. I would not have been able to live with myself if she had killed or injured someone. As it was, she had two accidents (well, two that I know about) and although nobody was hurt, it was bad enough. I should have done more to stop her from driving. Don't follow my bad example.

Best wishes to you and your family.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,771
Salford
It would take about 30 seconds to find and remove the "ignition" fuses in any car if you know what you're doing. If you don't know how the handbook will have a plan of the fuses (usually colour coded) it pulls out and without it the car won't start, the engine will still turn over but won't start.
Any numbers of stories in the paper will convince you that a car in the hands of the wrong person is a lethal weapon whether it be due to AZ, age, drink or drugs.
As previously suggested say "it's being taken to be repaired" and tell them it will cost an astronomical amount of money to get fixed, get it off the road (do a SORN if it's not insured, taxed or MOT'd) or they'll get an automatic fine.
Regrettably taking someone's wheels off them isn't easy but the option is to wait for the crisis and hope no one gets hurt too badly or indeed sent to prison at worst.
Luckily my wife never had a driving licence but getting her to give up smoking before she burned the house down was bad enough.
K