At the moment there is a huge debate concerning learner drivers and how the rules may change concerning driving lessons and what a student needs to learn before they are allowed to take their test or be given a driving licence. However, Lancaster City Council has now decided to introduce a driving course for those over sixty five in order to give them more confidence on the road and reduce the number of accidents which that age demographic age involved in.
According to latest figures nearly one in eight accidents that cause death or major injury in the East Lancaster area have a person over sixty five involved, which is around 13.4 per cent of all accidents. At the moment there are no laws concerning those under seventy having to retake their driving test after a certain period of time, and even those over seventy years old only have to re-apply for their licence every three years without evening taking any tests or having a medical. The Drive Safely for Longer Course hopes to tackle the problem of older drivers getting into accidents, and also give them a quick reminder of some of the basics of driving safely.
Discussing the course, county road safety manager Peter Binks said: “As the population ages and more older people are driving than ever before, there’s a place for a course specifically designed to help older drivers recognise weaknesses in their driving and brush up skills first learned many years ago. We’re not interested in catching people out and trying to take their licenses away from them. Our only aim is to help older people to remain behind the wheel safely.” Mr Binks went on to say that generally older drivers rely on their experience to keep them safe on the road, and often this may not be enough especially if some of their driving skills have deteriorated.
Furthermore, a survey conducted for Lancaster’s Strategy for an ageing population showed that three quarters of forty five year olds plan to continue driving after they retire; meaning that courses like this may become more popular in the future. These types of courses could also lead to cheaper car insurance quotes for pensioners who can prove they are still safe on the road, and ultimately lead to less serious accidents on the UK which will benefit all road users.