Free driving safety event for over 65s

Swan Walk, Horsham.
Swan Walk, Horsham.

SWAN Walk will host a free safety event giving older drivers and families an opportunity to gain advice and information on Thursday March 22 and Friday March 23 from 11-4pm.

Aimed at drivers over the age of 65, attendees will also be able to get their eyesight assessed free of charge.

The event, a collaboration between West Sussex County Council, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service and Sussex Police, aims to provide a free hub for people who may be concerned about their safety on the road or the implications of re-applying for their license.

Steve Lintott, Founder of Stay Safe Driving School, will be at the event to answer questions and offer assessment lessons and refresher courses for older drivers.

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

Mr Lintott said: “I have had a lot of older drivers say to me that the road seems a much scarier place as you get older, especially with the increasing volumes of traffic and slower reaction times of elderly drivers. Obviously driving gives people great independent 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.”

As part of the event Optical Express will be offering older drivers a free preliminary eyesight assessment (subject to availability) which will highlight any issues of concern that could lead to a failure in spotting a hazard on the road. Full eyesight appointments are available on request, which are free under the NHS for the over 60s.

Simon Turnbull, manager of Optical Express, 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.”