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Scheme launched for older motorists

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By Lisa Barbour
Annan and Eskdale
Scheme launched for older motorists

MATURE drivers in Annandale and Eskdale are being invited to sign up to a new road safety scheme.

DRIVING SAFETY . . . left to right: Sergeant Steven Wilson, Dumfries and District Driving Instructors Association chairman Colin Hobbins and Gail Copeland of Annandale and Eskdale SHAP launch the mature drivers scheme in Annandale and Eskdale

 

It follows concerns being expressed about an increase in injury crashes involving motorists over the age of 65 across the region.
And Police Scotland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Annandale and Eskdale Safe and Healthy Action Partnership (SHAP), Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Dumfries and District Driving Instructors Association have joined forces to run the innovative project in an effort to combat some of the issues that can be contributing factors – such as lack of confidence, slower reaction times and medication side effects.
Sergeant Steven Wilson, of Annan Police, says the programme is designed to improve driving standards and confidence among the older generation and ensure they can continue to drive safer for longer.
He said: “It is important that as people get older they ensure that they are still fit to be driving and this programme is a great opportunity to get some refresher lessons as well as information from health experts.
“We would welcome applications from anyone in the Annandale and Eskdale area who thinks they may benefit from this scheme.”
Participants will be given an application pack containing information about the scheme and asked questions about their driving habits.
They will also be required to fill out a declaration to confirm they have had an eyesight test in the last year and have no medical conditions that prevent them from driving.
Each participant will also receive a free driving assessment with a driving instructor and, once they have participated, they will also be provided with important support, advice and information from the police as well as other health professionals.
Gail Copeland, of Annandale and Eskdale SHAP, added: “In a rural area such as Dumfries and Galloway still being able to drive is often an older person’s lifeline to independence in both a practical and social sense.

“Supporting older people to be safe drivers will enable them to live independently for longer, keep engaged within the community and will keep the roads safer.”
Anyone interested in applying for the scheme, which will run for the remainder of the year, should contact Gail on 01461 207728.

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