Mature drivers scheme launched in Dumfries and Galloway

Mature drivers are on the increase
Mature drivers are on the increase

Drivers, over the age of 65 years of age across the Region are being invited to sign up to an initiative aimed to ensure that they keep themselves and others safe on our roads.

The population in Dumfries and Galloway is an ageing one and as such there has been concern about the rise in the number of injury collisions involving elderly drivers. There are a number of factors which have become apparent that can hinder the ability of someone to drive their vehicle in a safe and proper manner.

In an effort to combat some of the issues which contribute to these collisions occurring, Wigtownshire Health and Wellbeing Team (NHS), Police Scotland, and local driving Instructors supported by the Dumfries and Galloway Road Safety Partnership, have secured funding to continue an innovative initiative aimed at the more mature driver.

The programme is designed to improve road safety by addressing the driving standards and driver confidence amongst our older generation.

Participants will be given an application pack containing information about the scheme and an application form which includes questions about their driving habits. They will also be required to fill out a declaration to confirm they have undertaken an eyesight test in the last year and don’t have any medical conditions that would prevent them from driving.

Driving instructors have been recruited to the scheme from throughout the region and each participant will get a free driving assessment.

Once they have participated, applicants will also be provided with important support, advice and information in relation to driving from the Police as well as Health Professionals.

Inspector Moffat, Divisional Roads Policing, based at Dumfries said: “This year the Mature Drivers Scheme will be rolled out to the four locality areas within Dumfries and Galloway Region. The scheme has previously proven to be a great success, resulting in a marked improvement in the participants driving skills as well as in their confidence to drive and maintain their independence.

“It is important that as people get older they ensure that they are still both mentally and physically fit to drive and this initiative is a great opportunity for older drivers to get some refresher lessons as well as information from health experts.

“We would welcome applications from anyone in the Wigtownshire area who thinks they may benefit from this scheme.”

John McNaught from Wigtownshire Health and Wellbeing Team added: “In a rural area such as Wigtownshire, being able to drive is often a lifeline to independence in both a practical and social sense. Supporting older people to be safe drivers will enable them to remain independent for longer; keep community engagements and keep themselves and the roads safer. Drivers can take part in this initiative in either Stranraer or Newton Stewart depending on their preference.”

Anyone interested in applying for the Mature Drivers Scheme should contact Julie on 01776700632.