More than 30 older drivers from South Yorkshire took part in a free course held in Sheffield earlier this week, in a bid to keep them driving safely for longer.
This was the third ‘Safer Driving @ 60+’ course run by the South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP), to help older drivers brush up on their Highway Code and driving skills.
The day-long course raises awareness of the ‘four main causes’ of fatal road traffic collisions: drink and drug driving, speed, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while driving.
It also covers prescription and over the counter medicines and other issues which are more likely to impact on mature drivers.
The presentations included an overview of Smart Motorways from Highways England, which stressed the importance of obeying variable speed limits and not driving in lanes marked with a red ‘X’.
There was also a session led by Dr Omar Hussain, a local optometrist, on how eye health and vision are important factors in safer driving, and outlining options that older drivers may wish to consider.
Alongside the classroom sessions, course participants were invited to browse a marketplace of stallholders where they were able to pick up free resources and advice from a range of exhibitors.
Participants also had an opportunity to sign up for a free driving session with an approved driving instructor.
The final component of Safer Driving @ 60+ comprises two e-learning modules – one on eyesight, and the other covering how to renew a driving licence at 70 years and ‘notifiable medical conditions’.
One participant, Barbara from Whiston, described in as ‘a really good day’ which ‘helped me feel more confident about using the road’.
Another couple, Hazel and Malcolm from Kimberworth, who have recently come back to the UK after 30 years abroad, described the course as ‘a helpful refresher’.
Joanne Wehrle, Safer Roads Manager for SYSRP, said: “Safer Driving @ 60+ is about helping older drivers make the most of the skills they already possess.
“Casualties in South Yorkshire have been decreasing over time, but there has been an increase in driver casualties for those aged 65 years and over.
“Although this age group is less likely to be involved in a collision, their age means that the likelihood of injury increases.
“We encourage all drivers over the age of 60 years, whether they are confident behind the wheel or feel they need a little more encouragement, to book on to this free day.”
A further Safer Driving @ 60+ day will be held on Thursday 19 April. Click here to find out more.