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30 September 2014, 06:24
Hampshire Police are taking action to make sure older drivers aren't a danger to others on the roads.
Following on from the success of last year's awareness week, the Older Drivers Forum is once again ready to provide the older motorists with a 'one-stop MOT', by being on hand to offer friendly, impartial advice and support aimed at keeping them driving safely for longer.
All this week, and in support of Older People's Day (1 Oct), the forum is holding an Older Driver Awareness Week offering advice and tips that will help older drivers continue to drive safely or help them to decide when to stop.
- Tuesday, September 30 - Lyndhurst Community Centre, New Forest
- Wednesday, October 1 - West Quay, Southampton
- Thursday, October 2 - Cascades, Portsmouth
- Friday, October 3 - Discovery Centre, Winchester
- Saturday, October 4 - Riverside Centre, Newport, IOW
At a different venue each day, the free event is open 9.30am to 3pm, and is aimed at anyone with an interest, from older drivers themselves, to friends and relatives. Advice will be available on:
- brushing up your skills
- booking a driving assessment
- arranging regular eyesight tests
- getting advice on health and wellbeing issues that could affect driving ability
- renewing your licence at 70
- learning about road safety and consequences of not being fit to drive
- discover alternatives to being independent without a car
Sergeant Rob Heard, Chairman of the Older Driver Forum, said:
"The key message is about safety. Safety is the most important thing an older driver should consider when there is concern over their driving ability.
"Our advice is don't wait until you have a near miss or worst an accident to convince you to review you driving ability or to stop driving. Instead take preventative measures by planning ahead and seeking advice and support early.
"Attending one of these events is the ideal opportunity to come and discuss your driving needs and concerns with a variety of organisations who are dedicated to reducing casualties and providing the guidance and support older drivers may need."
The number of older drivers on the roads has been increasingly steadily and this is expected to continue. By 2030 more than 90% of men, over 70 will be behind the wheel.
Sgt Heard added:
"It's an important to realise that ageing affects us all differently and doesn't necessarily mean a total loss of driving ability. There are many things an older person can do to improve and continue to drive safely, from modifying the vehicle, adapting the way they drive, and understanding and rectifying any physical issues that may interfere with driving.
"This forum has been brought together by the specific issues faced by older motorists and to give them all the help and support to carry on driving safely for longer and provide advice about managing without a car if their skills suddenly deteriorate to the point that driving becomes too difficult or unsafe."
If you're an older driver or concerned for a friend or relative who is still driving then the Older Driver Forum may be able to help. Please visit their website www.olderdriversforum.com for more information and details about the upcoming awareness week.