Older Driver Campaign: Keeping older drivers safe on our
A campaign, aimed at keeping older drivers
driving for longer has been launched throughout North Wales.
Launched by the North Wales Road Safety Group,
the Older Driver Campaign will be encouraging drivers over 60 to
take part in a free driver assessment course which is now available
via all six local authorities throughout north Wales.
Coordinated by Flintshire County Council, the
course is delivered by ‘Mobility Driving Assessment Service trained
instructors, offering a two hour assessment and including a door to
door service. Participants are able to use their own vehicle.
The assessment will look at participants
driving habits and suggest ways of improving their driving, giving
them the skills to cope, and make it less stressful on today’s busy
Chair of the
North Wales Road Safety Group, Wendy Davies-Williams said: “As we
get older we may see some changes - our reaction times get slower,
decision making takes longer and our eyesight and hearing may begin
to deteriorate. It is important that when these changes
become recognisable it should be realised that driving will be
affected. The assessment as well as years of experience can
help keep you driving for life - it’s not a driving test, the
ultimate aim of this campaign is to keep people driving safer for
“So far throughout north Wales, older people
have already seized this opportunity and have attended a course
which they have found to be extremely beneficial. The feedback we
as a Road Safety Group have received has been very positive.”
“This is about education and not enforcement,”
said Gareth Jones, North Wales Police’ Road Safety Manager.
“Traffic conditions today are a world apart
from what many drivers have been trained to deal with when they
first learned to drive and most people should be able to carry on
driving – more safely – by adapting their driving habits following
the advice of a driving professional.
He added: “The number of collisions over the
past few years which have involved drivers over 65 has become a
cause for concern. In 2010, there were 233 collisions involving
drivers over 65, which is the equivalent of 13.1% of all
collisions. So far this year, there have been 150 collisions which
is 16.2% of the number of all collisions which is quite
“Nobody’s driving licence will be threatened
as a result of attending this particular assessment. To many older
drivers, the ability to drive represents their independence.”
On the morning of the launch 71 year old,
Peter Davies from Rhuallt completed the driving assessment and
stated “I first passed my test 53 years ago and since then have
driven in many different countries such as Dubai, Cario, USA,
Europe and South Africa, after 53 years of driving you can pick up
bad habits. This is a wonderful scheme, it is not a test, it is a
friendly process to establish ones current driving skills, followed
with helpful advice on areas which can be improved upon. Since
first passing my driving test there has been no professional advice
given about the standard of my driving, until I sat this driving
assessment and I can now say I am more confident about driving and
more aware of the improvements I can make in relation to my own
The Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment
Service is committed to helping people remain mobile and recognise
the importance of independence and being able to continue driving
safely. North Wales Centre Manager, Gary Jones said: “We have
welcomed the opportunity to work with the North Wales Road Safety
Group to establish a network of specialist driving instructors who
can now deliver the highest levels of assessment and advice to
older drivers across North Wales.
“We should all recognise the changes that can
come with the ageing process and how this can impact upon our
safety as drivers. Through the Older Driver Programme we are able
to ensure drivers receive the appropriate advice regarding their
driving skills, thereby helping people drive safer for longer.”
To apply for the assessment, a form, which is
available via all six local authority Road Safety Departments,
needs to be completed and sent to Flintshire County Council, who
will arrange the administration of the course.
- In 2009 calendar year, 13.85% (241 of 1,740 collisions)
involved a driver aged 65 or over.
- In 2010 calendar year, 13.71% (233 of 1,699 collisions)
involved a driver aged 65 or over.
- And between January and July 2011, 16.82% (150 of 892) of all
collisions involved a driver aged 65 or over.
- The North Wales Road Safety Group involves Road Safety Officers
from the six North Wales authorities of Anglesey, Conwy,
Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd and Wrexham as well as
representatives from North Wales Police, the Welsh Ambulance
Service, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service.