Sussex Safer Roads Partnership are teaming up with partners from West Sussex Fire and Rescue to host a special advice and information event for drivers over the age of 65.
SSRP will be in attendance at Piazza Italia, Horsham's free Italian festival celebrating vehicles, food and entertainment, and the focus on Saturday the 26th is Older Drivers.
Following the success of a previous event, firefighters will be signing up those over 65 over the weekend for a driving assessment with a Stay Safe Driving School instructor, who will be offering this opportunity in exchange for a donation to the Children’s Charities which are being supported over the weekend. Steve Lintott, who is the owner of Stay Safe, is a firefighter who works in Crawley. He formed his driving school in response to the results of incidents he has attended in his career, with the ethos of improving driving standards in the county. Steve has offered a limited amount of assessments at this time but may be in a position to add others to a waiting list if the demand is high. The drivers must be from West Sussex, be over 65, and they will be given their confidential assessment within 6 months of signing up.
In the last 5 years up to January 31 2016, 246 people have been injured in Horsham District as a result of a collision involving a car driver over 65, 11 of those fatally. This opportunity for older drivers is part of a strategy to reduce the number of them being killed or seriously injured on the county's roads.
Richard Davy from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service said “It’s great to work alongside the Stay Safe Driving School and give older drivers the opportunity to have an assessment of their driving skills and pick up some simple tips which will help them to feel confident and stay safer on the road.
“Driving is a complex task and there are many things that could affect someone’s confidence and ability behind the wheel. The ageing process can affect our eyesight and our physical dexterity – muscles weaken, reflexes slow and flexibility decreases. We appreciate that driving can be a crucial factor in an older person being able to retain their independence. The aim of the event is simply to assist older people to continue to enjoy their driving safely and with confidence.”
There will also be a Mature Drivers assessment which can be picked up on the day and filled out as a self-check, and further advice will be available on how you may be supported through giving up driving without losing independence.