Road safety advice for over 65s

OLDER drivers were given free eye tests and safety advice in Swan Walk last week.

The Horsham shopping centre hosted over 65s safety days on March 22 and 23.

The event, run by West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Sussex Police, provided vital information for people who may be concerned about their safety on the road or the implications of re-applying for their license.

Steve Lintott, a former firefighter who runs Stay Safe Driving School, was there to answer questions and offer assessment lessons and refresher courses for older drivers.

He also gave people an opportunity to try their hand at interactive hazard awareness driver software, which allows them to test their knowledge and reaction skills virtually.

“I have had a lot of older drivers say to me that the road seems a much scarier place as you get older,” he said, “especially with the increasing volumes of traffic and slower reaction times of elderly drivers.

“Obviously driving gives people great independence so we hope to keep people on the road for as long as possible, providing they look after their own safety and that of their fellow drivers and pedestrians.”

Optical Express were offering preliminary eyesight tests to highlight any problems that could be dangerous to a driver.

Full eyesight appointments - free to over 60s on the NHS - were available to those who needed them.

Optical Express manager Simon Turnbull said: “Degenerating eyesight can be one of the most common problems among older drivers.

“Most of the time this can be easily corrected with the right treatment or lenses but it is vital that all drivers – especially those over 60 – have regular eye tests to ensure that they are as safe as possible on the roads.”