Older Drivers Forum Chair gets National award

Sgt Rob Heard - Chair of Older Drivers Forum - with Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh

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.

Let us introduce ourselves…

Featured

front-page-pictureWe 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.

For advice, support and courses nationally then visit:
www.olderdrivers.org.uk

RECENT NEWS

Driver Skills 60+ scheme featured on BBC

BBC

Click here to see recent film done by the BBC around an older driver undertakings a Driver Skills 60+ appraisal

Older Drivers Awareness Week 2016

Our awareness week ran between Monday 26th September and Friday 30th September 2016 and we visited 5 venues across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to give help and advice to the Older Motorists to carry on driving safely for longer. We also gave advice to Family and Friends concerned and wanting to support the Older Motorist in their life.
The event was a great success and we engaged with over 1200 older drivers at the events. We are now planning for our next awareness week in 2017. See our ‘Events‘ page for more details and photographs from this years venues.
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New video – Fitness to Drive Assessment

We have worked with GEM Motoring Assist to create a new video at one of the National Driving Mobility centres to show you what it is like to undertake a ‘Fitness to Drive’ assessment. As you will see it is not as scary as you would think. To find out more about our local Driving Mobility centre, Wessex DriveAbility, then click here

To see more about the video click here

Older Drivers Task Force

Task ForceHampshire Constabulary’s groundbreaking drive supporting older motorists to stay safe on our roads has today (JULY 4) reached the House of Commons.

Our chair of the Forum, Sergeant Rob Heard joined other members of the Forum and leading experts from across the country in London to recommend an action plan that will help make older drivers safer for longer.

Sgt Heard has been working on the National Task Force and chairs one of the three working groups on Self help and support

With an ageing population, the Older Drivers Task Force believes it vital to take steps to give older drivers the support and confidence they need to ensure they retain their independence, while dismantling the stigma wrongly attached to elderly motorists.

To find out more click here

New National Older Drivers Website

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Following the success of our local web site, we identified the need for a national web site. We have therefore worked with RoSPA to create a new national web site to help all across the country. Why not explore this new web site at www.olderdrivers.org.uk

Don’t worry we will still exist and will continue to offer local advice and support to Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Older Drivers Forum Highly Commended in Prince Michael of Kent Road Safety Awards

Our Chair and founder, Sgt Rob Heard, attended the Savoy Hotel in London on Tuesday 8th December at the International Road Safety awards ceremony. The Older Drivers Forum was highly commended for its contribution to improving Road Safety and awarded a Commendation Certificate by His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent. To find out more click here.

Receiving Commendation

Receiving Commendation

Older Drivers Forum Featured on BBC One Show

The Older Drivers Forum featured on the BBC One Show on Wednesday 9th December when they popped into an event run in Fleet. Jennie Bond and John Sergeant both attended and went out on a driving appraisal to brush up their skills. To find out more click here

Sgt Rob Heard with Jennie Bond and John Sergeant

Sgt Rob Heard with Jennie Bond and John Sergeant

National Award for Chair of Older Drivers Forum

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. To read more on this click here

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