A CAMPAIGN, aimed at keeping older drivers driving for longer has been launched throughout North Wales.
The North Wales Road Safety Group’s Older Driver Campaign will be encouraging drivers over 60 to take part in a free driver assessment course which is now available via all six local authorities throughout North Wales.
Coordinated by Flintshire County Council, the course is delivered by Mobility Driving Assessment Service trained instructors, offering a two hour assessment and including a door to door service. Participants are able to use their own vehicle.
The assessment will look at driving habits and suggest ways of improving their driving, giving them the skills to cope, and make it less stressful on today’s busy roads.
Chairwoman of the North Wales Road Safety Group, Wendy Davies-Williams said: “As we get older we may see some changes – our reaction times get slower, decision making takes longer and our eyesight and hearing may begin to deteriorate. It is important that when these changes become recognisable it should be realised that driving will be affected.
“The assessment as well as years of experience can help keep you driving for life – it’s not a driving test, the ultimate aim of this campaign is to keep people driving safer for longer.”
Gareth Jones, North Wales Police road safety manager, said: “Traffic conditions today are a world apart from what many drivers have been trained to deal with when they first learned to drive and most people should be able to carry on driving – more safely – by adapting their driving habits following the advice of a driving professional.”
He added: “The number of collisions over the past few years which have involved drivers over 65 has become a cause for concern. In 2010, there were 233 collisions involving drivers over 65, which is the equivalent of 13.1% of all collisions. So far this year, there have been 150 collisions which is 16.2% of the number of all collisions and is quite worrying.”
“Nobody’s driving licence will be threatened as a result of attending this particular assessment. To many older drivers, the ability to drive represents their independence.”
To apply for the assessment a form, which is available via all six local authority Road Safety Departments, needs to be completed and sent to Flintshire County Council, who will arrange the administration of the course. Visit www.wmdas.co.uk.