Helping to make older drivers safer

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Everyone could learn a thing or two at an initiative aimed at making sure older drivers are fit for the road.

Police Scotland, in conjunction with IAM RoadSmart, is inviting people to attend a free open drop-in event at Campbeltown Police Station tomorrow (Saturday).

Experienced road traffic police officers, as well as IAM RoadSmart observers, will offer mature drivers practical advice on driving safely, for longer.

They will also offer drivers tips on how to renew their driving licence at 70, as is required by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

Sergeant Archie McGuire of Police Scotland’s L Division road policing unit, said: ‘Our target audience is older drivers, so that’s anyone aged 70 or over but anyone wishing advice is more than very welcome.

‘The number of older drivers in the UK is increasing – there are 4.5 million at the moment, with 180,000 aged more than 90, according to the latest figures.

‘Older drivers tend to have a slower reaction time and their eyesight begins to worsen. This is an opportunity for older drivers to speak to us about how to renew their licence when they reach 70 and the law behind it.’

Those who bring their own car to the Campbeltown event will also have the opportunity to have a free IAM RoadSmart driving skills check.

Rod Humphries, National Observer for IAM RoadSmart, explained that the organisation has 180 groups across the country made up of volunteers who observe people’s driving. Observed drives are carried out with a qualified expert who will offer suggestions and tips for improving people’s skills. Drivers are encouraged to undertake IAM RoadSmart’s Advanced Driver Course to develop their skills even further.

Mr Humphries, who is an IAM RoadSmart Master Driver, said: ‘On Saturday, we’ll be there to provide information alongside other partners. We will be there to observe people’s driving, checking basic skills, and to see if people want to take the advanced test.’

Representatives from AG Barr Optometrists will be there to offer advice on eyesight requirements and testing.

Friends and family are welcome to join older drivers at the event and Sgt McGuire says: ‘Everyone will learn something.’

He added: ‘No one’s car will be impounded or licence taken away – we are simply there to offer advice on the law. So come along, pick up a tea or a coffee and come and have a yarn with us.’

No appointment is necessary for the event, which runs from 11am to 4pm, but people are urged to go along early as it is first come, first served and interest is expected to be high.