Older Drivers Urged To Stay Safe On The Roads

Wednesday 1st June 2016

eastbourne buzz news - Older drivers
 

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is reminding motorists how to stay safe behind the wheel when it is that time to renew their driving licence at aged 70.

Our Service is committed to tackling road traffic collisions as a key priority by working alongside the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) and other partners. East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service has a high proportion of country roads in its area and statistics show that 60% of all fatalities occur on country roads, highlighting the need to take care.

To ensure that road traffic reduction activities are targeted effectively, ESFRS and its partners examines Killed and Seriously Injured collisions using SSRP data to develop focussed, intelligent and evidence-led community safety work.

The increasing age of the population inevitably means the likelihood of more residents over the age of 60 are living in rural locations depending on private vehicles to maintain their independence.

East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service would like to encourage mature motorists to consider taking a mature driver’s assessment when they renew their licence at 70. The assessment is offered by IAM RoadSmart 'formerly the Institute of Advanced Motorists', an independent road safety charity. Relatives are also encouraged to suggest this assessment as an option to boost confidence for mature drivers.

David Kemp from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Community Safety Department, urges drivers to take positive action to stay safe:

“Mature motorists may already be worried about driving after they reach 70. An assessment will provide either the reassurance to continue driving or the confirmation of a need to make changes. We would advise this as a sensible step, alongside having an up-to-date eye test.”

Director of Policy and Research for IAM RoadSmart, Neil Greig, said: “A 60-minute driving assessment will give you, or a loved one, a trusted second opinion and the means to decide if it’s still safe to drive – or rethink your options.

“It can also offer you valuable reassurance prior to renewing your driving licence, which we all need to do at age 70.

“The Mature Driver’s Assessment is designed to help you – or an older relative – with the difficult and sensitive decision of when and if to stop driving.

“It costs £49 for a Mature Driver’s Assessment which could be one of the best investments ever made for your own safety, the safety of your passengers and your confidence behind the wheel.”

IAM Roadsmart states that mature drivers are among the safest on the road and of those assessed need only some minor guidance to set them back on the right road.

Also, the Institute of Advanced Motoring has some reassuring messages for mature drivers who are generally safer and much less of a risk than younger ones, for several reasons:

  • They have many more years of driving experience, which can compensate for less rapid reflexes.
  • They are much more cautious drivers, and so less prone to taking risks.
  • Most self-regulate by not driving at times and places they do not feel comfortable, for example, at night, when the weather is bad, when traffic is heavy, and in areas that are unfamiliar.
  • Few older drivers drink and drive or take illegal drugs, and most don’t speed.

 

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