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Suffolk scheme relaunched to help older drivers remain independent on the roads

PUBLISHED: 17:17 31 May 2018

Iain Watson, Senior Road Safety Officer   Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Iain Watson, Senior Road Safety Officer Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A campaign to keep older drivers independent and safe on the roads in Suffolk has been relaunched.

Some of the driving aids older motorists can get to help them remain independent on the roads Picture: JASON NOBLESome of the driving aids older motorists can get to help them remain independent on the roads Picture: JASON NOBLE

The Suffolk Roadsafe board – a collection of groups including Suffolk police and Suffolk County Council which aims to keep the roads safe – launched the Grand Drivers scheme several years ago to help support drivers over 60.

Now, the project has been relaunched with a bid to help drivers remain safe on the road, including a series of tools which can help.

Among them are a clip-on handle for those unsteady on their feet, extra wide mirrors and a swivel cushion to help people out of their cars.

Iain Watson, senior road safety advisor with Suffolk Roadsafe said it was allowing drivers to remain safe, not about taking their keys away from them.

“Family members have concerns about their loved ones but it’s a difficult subject to broach.

“We ran this project several years ago and everyone who came along found it extremely useful.

“It’s about retaining independence in getting around Suffolk, which is a very rural county.”

Among the measures the scheme offers are free workshops and driving assessments for over 60s to help refresh drivers’ knowledge and discuss concerns they may have.

It also helps talk motorists through adaptations which may be suitable for their car, such as balls which can be attached to the steering wheel to help people turn easier, and a clip-on seatbelt reacher.

It also outlines what medical conditions need to be reported to the DVLA.

Sam Mason, road safety officer, added: “We have had far more relatives of older drivers get in touch, but this is not a drive to get keys off you or reporting to the police. We should be doing this first, talking to them to find out what they need.”

The team will be attending events across the county, as well as promoting the initiative on social media and online.

The Grand Driver programme is part of a wider purpose for Suffolk Roadsafe to promote responsible road use, which also includes working with schools to educate children and help young drivers feel confident on the road.

To find out more call 07703 395690 or visit the website here.

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