A CAMPAIGN has been launched to keep older drivers safer on the roads for longer.
Local authorities and charities from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have joined forced to create an Older Drivers Forum, a one-stop shop to offer advice and information to older drivers, their friends and family.
Forum co-ordinator Sgt Rob Heard, of Hampshire Constabulary’s roads policing unit, said: "The focus of our campaign is to keep older motorists driving safely for longer and provide them with the support they need to do that. We understand how vital it is for older motorists to keep their independence and staying behind the wheel is a very important part of that process.
"Statistics show you are no more likely to be involved in a collision at the age of 70 than any other age group. However, age-related decline in mental and physical abilities coupled with age-related frailty can make older drivers more likely to be involved in a crash.
"Once over 70, drivers are more likely to be at fault, particularly where right of way violations are involved. Research has shown drivers aged over 85 are four times more likely to have caused a crash than having been an innocent victim of one."
The forum will run an awareness week from Monday, September 23, and will hold events across the two counties offering advice about eyesight tests, renewing licences, modifying vehicles, alternatives to driving and how to stay independent without a car.
The Isle of Wight event will be held at Ryde Fire Station on Saturday, September 28.
Sgt Heard said: "We are dedicated to reducing casualties on our roads and keeping all road users safe. This forum has been brought together to focus on the specific issues faced by older drivers, and give them all the help and support, and provide advice about managing without a car if their skills suddenly deteriorate to the point that driving becomes too difficult or unsafe. It does not mean you need to stop driving — sometimes a little assistance can make all the difference."
For further information, visit www.olderdriversforum.com