Initiative to provide ‘safe environment’ for older drivers

11.42 | 21 October 2019 | | 1 comment

An ‘innovative’ new road safety initiative aimed at older drivers and their families is being trialled in the north of Scotland.

The multi-agency Driver Engagement North uses an interactive driving simulator to assess a participant’s reactions, hazard awareness and any potential vulnerabilities on the roads.

The initiative is also designed to provide a safe environment for older drivers, giving attendees the chance to raise concerns about their fitness to drive. 

Experts are on hand to give advice on a range of topics, including the importance of having an open discussion with family or friends and also with the older driver’s GP – who will be able to suggest a suitable course of action.

Driver Engagement North is funded by Transport Scotland and led by Police Scotland, with support from other partners including the NHS, IAM Roadsmart, Age Concern and RoSPA.

Sgt Donnie Mackinnon, from Police Scotland’s Road Policing Unit, said: “Whether someone is fit to drive is a sensitive subject and Driver Engagement North is designed to provide a safe environment where people can interact with and seek advice from the experts.

“While this initiative is aimed at older drivers, we will also be able to offer advice to family members or friends who are concerned about whether someone they know is fit to drive.

“We know this is a very difficult conversation which could lead to someone making a life-changing decision but it is better to reach that point before something serious occurs.

“Ultimately our priority is to improve safety and reduce the number of casualties on the roads. We are confident that Driver Engagement North will be an important new strand of that work.”


 

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    A good idea no doubt, but let’s not assume that the ageing driver is any more of a hazard than the younger and middle-aged drivers who, I would suggest, are more prone to reckless behaviour behind the wheel.


    Hugh Jones
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