Older Drivers Forum helps motorists stay on roads safely

Last month Dorset roads policing officers and partner organisations held a series of meetings and workshops for older drivers to highlight potential issues, listen to concerns and give safety advice.

The Older Drivers Forum is about keeping mature motorists on the road safely for longer. Older drivers are among the safest on the road but it is true to say that as people get older their reactions can be less swift and eyesight can change. For more information, advice, videos and courses available visit www.olderdriversforum.com or www.dorsetroadsafe.com for roads safety information.

‘Meet and greets’ at Poole and Dorchester were well attended, with lots of information given out to drivers and relatives of drivers who had concerns. Workshops at Weymouth and Wimborne were a great success with up to 100 attendees in total. The workshops were supported by the High Sheriff of Dorset and Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, and by partners including the Stroke Association, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire & Rescue service, road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, Kwik Fit, Boots Opticians, Driving Mobility Centres and the senior road safety officer from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, which organisation also administered eyesight tests.

Road Casualty Reduction officer PC Heidi Moxam, who organised the events, said: “I was very impressed with the turn out for all events and to have the opportunity to give people information on how they can keep driving for longer and more safely through courses, assessments and written guidance was invaluable.

“Many people have asked for more workshops more often and we hope to be able to provide these in the future. Drivers appreciated the opportunity to ask questions or check on driving habits in a relaxed and friendly environment. We definitely took away from the meetings the fact that drivers loved the opportunity to talk to other drivers of a similar age.”

Martyn Underhill, Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I recently needed to use a mobility scooter following a leg operation, and so attended one of the Older Drivers Forum events to make sure I knew how to use it safely.

“Whether you use a car, motorbike or mobility scooter, these events are excellent ways of making sure older people are kept on the road safely for longer, and I would encourage any older motorists to visit the website and come along to any future events.”

A competition was held and the winner received a garden centre voucher. Winner Mr John Carter (88yrs) who attended a Wimborne Workshop said: ‘You’re never too old to learn, if only one thing. Keep them coming!’ 

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