Drivers from Dorset aged 70 years and over are being offered a two-hour theory session to update their driving knowledge.
The sessions, which cost just £5, are organised by Dorset County Council as part of its Dorset Driver Gold* initiative, and are run by a road safety professional in a friendly, non-threatening environment.
Subjects covered include staying fit to drive, new driving techniques, changes to the Highway Code, negotiating roundabouts and junctions safely, and dual carriageway and motorway driving.
There is also an option for a 90-minute one-to-one practical refresher drive at a later date, which takes place on local roads and includes town and country driving. The aim of this session is to improve defensive driving techniques, hazard awareness and better road positioning, and to provide tips that can help reduce fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear.
The initiative was launched by TV presenter Valerie Singleton, who also features in a series of videos for senior drivers produced by GEM Motoring Assist.
Valerie Singleton said: “The course will help those drivers who learnt to drive In the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The emphasis is on friendly discussion and help to keep people mobile.
“Roads and driving have changed so much since we learnt to drive and this can wear away your confidence. This course is a great way to get that self-belief back.”
*Dorset Driver Gold
Dorset Driver Gold is primarily aimed at older drivers aged 75 years and over. An independent evaluation of the scheme, carried out by Dr Carol Hawley from Warwick University, concluded that DDG is “achieving its objectives of successfully training a group of senior drivers and improving their driving skills and confidence as drivers”.