Acclaim for older driver schemes
Two schemes to improve the safety of older drivers have been highly commended in the 2015 Prince Michael Awards.
Hampshire Constabulary & Thames Valley Police’s Older Drivers Forum and Dorset County Council Road Safety Team’s Dorset Driver Gold programme will receive their commendations at the Prince Michael Awards’ ceremony in London today (8 Dec).
The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards recognise outstanding achievement and innovation worldwide, with outstanding road safety initiatives given public recognition through the scheme.
Launched in June 2013, The Older Driver Forum is a Hampshire partnership between police, fire, local authority road safety teams, mobility centres, driving organisations and charities. The forum was set up to provide advice and support to older drivers in order to help them drive safely for longer.
The forum acts a one-stop service for older motorists to find information, advice and training, bringing together a number of stakeholders that all have a role to play in helping the elderly stay safer on the roads.
The service has been well received from those it has helped, including Bruce Parker, British journalist and television presenter, who said: “The Older Drivers Forum is about keeping people like me, mature motorists, on the road. With practical and informative advice, they want us driving longer but more safely.”
The Dorset Driver Gold programme aims to address the effects of declining cognitive and physical driving ability, which evidence suggests may contribute towards loss of confidence and increased driver error amongst the most senior group of drivers.
It focuses exclusively on supporting the very oldest group of drivers (75+) with a year-long programme, comprising theory and at least two follow up practical coaching sessions delivered by experienced professional driver trainers.
An evaluation of the scheme from Warwick University found that the programme is “achieving its objectives of successfully training a group of senior drivers and improving their driving skills and confidence as drivers”.