The Older Mobility website has now gone live. Older Mobility brings together research and evidence to help address the needs for an ageing population. In recent years the emphasis in research and among practitioners has often focussed on interventions for drivers as they age. In 2019, the Department for Transport awarded a grant to the leading road safety charity, RoadSafe, to develop a knowledge transfer programme to take forward the work on older drivers by widening its scope to address the risks to older road users, concentrating on the most vulnerable.
Combining a series of reports created specifically for the project and a library of research evidence OlderMobility.com is a valuable resource for those working in road safety, public health, transport planning, civic leadership and age-related charities.
This week we have visited 5 different venues across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight with our partners from many agencies. We gave help and support to over 1300 older drivers, advising on voluntary driving appraisals, health and well being, cyber crime and how to protect themselves from fraud and much more. We will be posting more pictures from the weeks activties in the next couple of weeks. If you missed being able to attend, then don’t worry have a look through our web site for advice.
Sgt Rob Heard – Chair of Older Drivers Forum – with Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh
It is with great pride that we announce that our Older Drivers Forum chair, Sgt Rob Heard, has after years of dedication to keeping the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight safe on our roads has been awarded the ACPO and Police Federation Outstanding Contribution to Roads Policing Award 2014.
Rob, who has worked within the Roads Policing Unit for 22 years and is currently the force lead on road safety, was presented with the award on Thursday night (January 15) in recognition of his work creating and establishing the Older Drivers Forum.
Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: “I am very proud of the work Rob has done in helping to keep older drivers stay on the road, safely”.
“At some stage, we ourselves will be older drivers, and most of us know older drivers now. This forum and its website are a fantastic resource to help inform and reassure. This award is very well deserved recognition.”
The Older Drivers Forum was set up in 2013 with the aim of keeping older drivers safely on the roads for longer, and helping relatives and carers deal with the issues that can be associated with older drivers.
The forum was Rob’s idea, and he has worked tirelessly to liaise with partner agencies including local authorities, health, Age Concern and Age UK, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, Forum of Mobility Centres and Institute of Advance Motorists to co-ordinate its many activities and support services.
“It is basically about raising awareness of the services available to drivers aged 60 plus to help keep them driving safely for longer, and to encourage people to have regular eye-sight tests and, especially, take voluntary assessments to help build confidence and understand whether they remain fit to drive”.
“The forum can also provide assessments to check, following a collision, whether a person is safe or not to continue and, where appropriate, signpost refresher training. There are currently just over four million people aged 70 and above driving on the UK’s roads, the oldest person to hold a driving licence is a man aged 106″.
“Research predicts that, with people living longer, these numbers will double if not treble in the next 20 years”.
“I feel greatly honoured to have received this award. It feels a bit like winning an Oscar in the roads policing world. I would like to dedicate this award to Neil Colquhoun and his mother Patricia, who were the inspiration behind the creation of the forum”.
“Neil tragically died in a collision in 2011 when an 89-year-old man drove the wrong way for over a mile along the A30 at Old Basing. His car collided head-on with Neil’s. Neil died at the scene and our investigation found that the 89-year-old man was blind in one eye and below the legal eyesight limit in the other. However, he felt he was genuinely fit to drive. From that, we came up with the idea of the forum, and we hope by doing so we can prevent another tragedy like this. We are not about taking people off the road – we are about trying to help people keep their independence and carry on driving safely, for longer.”
In the 18 months since it was established, the forum’s website has had in excess of 20,000 hits and is used as a resource nationally. It has also run two weeks of awareness events across both counties which have been attended by more than 1000 people.
Rob is also now a national lead on older driver issues and is helping the Department for Transport and Road Safety Foundation develop national strategy in this growing area.
In May we have been supporting Project EDWARD (Every Day Without A Road Death) week of Action. To see more watch the video by clicking on this link
Podcast – ScORSA
Listen to this Podcast involving our Chair Rob Heard talking with Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance. Click here to find the Podcast and scroll down to Older Drivers
Free webinar – Concerned about a mature driver? We can help.
Gloucestershire Older Drivers Forum are running free webinar, to find out more and how to reserve your place click here
Older Drivers Event – Buckinghamshire
Why not attend this great event and gets lots of useful advice about driving safely for longer as well as try out our new Virtual Reality film especially made to support and help mature motorists.
To find out more visit Buckinghamshire Council page by clicking here
BBC Radio 2 Interview with Jeremy Vine
On Friday 24th March the chair and founder of the Older Drivers Forum, Rob Heard, was interviewed by Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 talking about Family and Friends and how to have and start those difficult conversations when we maybe concerned about a loved ones driving. To listen to the interview click here
To find out more about how a family and friend can support a mature driver then click here for voids webinars and lots of useful information.
Advice for Friends and Family of a Mature Driver
Understandably, friends and families can be reluctant to raise the issue with driving , especially if the older person is fiercely protective of their independence. That said, we all respond better when advice is coming from someone we trust so often families and friends will have the best influence on the way that an older driver sees their future behind the wheel. Click here to useful information and advice on how to have those conversations
FREE Webinars to view In March we ran three exciting new Webinars which were recorded and now can be viewed by visiting our webinar page. Click here to go to our ‘Webinar’ page. The webinars were on:
Concerned about an Older Driver? We can help This webinar provides support for families, friends, and carers who are concerned about an older driver. The webinar includes advice on how to: start empathetic conversations with their loved one, friend or client; keep them driving safely, for longer and plan for when it is time for them to retire from driving.
Are you driving whilst impaired? Impairment, when related to driving, often refers to drink, drugs or a medical condition. However, everyone drives in an impaired fashion from time to time whether it be through tiredness, stress, distraction or simply complacency. This webinar looks at all the factors which may impair our driving decisions and offers solutions to ensure the risk of a road traffic collision is as low as possible.
Is your vision roadworthy? This webinar was hosted by Valerie Singleton OBE and offers the opportunity to find out more about driver vision and the vital role played by good eyesight in reducing risks on the road. The webinar discussed what the law says and the legal requirements for driving, as well as advice from an optometrist on good eye health and importance of regular eyesight tests and lots more.
Driving Safely in Winter
Winter brings with it many additional driving hazards. But with planning and preparation these can be made much less of a risk. To find out more click here
In March 2022 we ran a webinar all about the new changes to the Highway Code and road safety tips. This webinar starts by giving an update on the findings from the Older Drivers Task Force report published in November 2021. The webinar then goes on to cover the new Highway Code and particularly the new changes, as well as giving you useful road safety tips.
To view the Webinar visit our Highway Code page by clicking here
We know that older motorists have a wealth of experience, confidence and tolerance. However, sight, hearing, reaction time and judgement of speed and distance may not be as sharp as it once was.
Fragility increases with age, so injuries tend to be more serious and recovery takes much longer. Casualty rates do increase for car drivers aged over about 65, and the fatality rate increases significantly.
That’s where we come in. The Older Drivers Forum is about keeping mature motorists on the road safely for longer. Whether that’s helping giving you practical and informative help and support to continue driving or pointing you in the right direction for an assessment to identify your driving needs – from wing mirror adapters to an elevated driving seat – we’re here to help.
We’re a not-for-profit organisation made up of experts in road safety – from representatives from the emergency services, to charities, local authorities and businesses specialising in keeping older people on the road.
We do not perform any legal function and do not have the authority to remove driving licences. We are merely here to assist you, or the older person in your life, with staying mobile for as long as possible.
We’ll be constantly adding advice and news for older drivers to our page so please keep coming back for all the latest updates.
Why not explore the web site and see all the advice, videos, brochures, recommendations on driving assessments and much more we give to help you, or someone you know, carry on driving safely for longer.