Mature Drivers Initiative Launched in Dumfries & Galloway

Drivers, over the age of 65 years of age in the Annandale and Eskdale, Dumfries and Upper Nithsdale, Stewartry and Wigtownshire areas 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 crashes involving elderly drivers. There are a number of relevant factors which have become apparent; the primary one’s being lack of confidence, slowed reactions and the effect of medication upon 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 crashes occurring, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Police Scotland, Dumfries and District Driving Instructors Association and local driving instructors operating within the Stewartry and Wigtownshire areas, 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 had an eyesight test in the last year and have no other 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 other health professionals.

Inspector Campbell 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 Dumfries and Galloway Region”;

Anyone who thinks they may benefit from the scheme can make contact with the following NHS Health and Wellbeing representatives;

Annandale and Eskdale – Gail Copeland 01461 207728

Dumfries and Upper Nithsdale – Diane Varie 01387 244401

Stewartry – Robyn Langton 01556 505724

Wigtownshire – John McNaught 01671 404267

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