The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) has refreshed its older driver training course to include information on topics such as smart motorways.
The first session of the newly-refreshed Safer Driving @ 60+ course took place at the Lifewise Centre, with more than 40 experienced drivers taking part.
Joanne Wehrle, safer roads manager for SYSRP, said the course is about helping older drivers ‘make the most of the skills they already possess’.
The free course covers a broad spectrum of issues including what the SYSRP has identified as the four main causes of fatal road traffic collisions; drink and drug driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone while at the wheel.
There was a particular focus on prescription and over the counter medicines, and the importance of checking the label to see whether any side effects can affect driving.
Vision Express led a session on eye health, while representatives from Highways England gave an overview of smart motorways – particularly relevant to South Yorkshire residents following recent upgrades to the M1 between junctions 32 and 35a.
In addition to classroom sessions, participants picked up free resources and advice from a range of exhibitors and had the opportunity to sign up for free driving sessions with an approved driving instructor.
In the afternoon participants experienced a driver extrication demonstration by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and a first aid session led by Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
Joanne Wehrle said: “Our data shows that casualties in South Yorkshire have been decreasing over time, but there has been an increase in driver casualties for those aged 65 and over.
“Although this age group is less likely to be involved in a collision, their age means that the likelihood of injury increases. Safer Driving @ 60+ aims to help older drivers brush up on their skills and knowledge and help them become more confident behind the wheel.
“We’ve had some very positive feedback and are already planning further Safer Driving @ 60+ events around South Yorkshire.”
The final component of the Safer Driving @ 60+ course consists of two e-learning modules; one on eyesight and the other on renewing a driving licence at 70. These online tools are available for anyone to access.
Click here for further details about the e-modules and future Safer Driving @ 60+ events.