Sad seniors statistic authorities want to change
It is a sad statistic many Queenslanders might not be aware of - drivers aged over 60 make up 24.5 per cent of licence holders, however they account for approximately 32.6 per cent of road fatalities.
As part of a renewed focus on seniors driving and road safety, the Ipswich crime prevention office will be holding free seminars for residents over the age of 60 who hold a current Queensland driver’s licence in Esk, later this month.
Ipswich District Crime Prevention Coordinator Sergeant Nadine Webster, who is facilitating the sessions, said the number of seniors involved in road trauma was “sadly quite high”.
Sergeant Webster said many seniors had held their licences for “many years” but had not done any road rule refreshers during that time.
Three free workshops will be held at the Somerset Civic Centre on March 11, 18 and 25, and will include presentations on road rules, fatal five, drink driving, standard drinks and roundabouts that Sergeant Webster said “trip a lot of people up”.
Participants will also be able to use vision impairment goggles that simulate the effects of drugs and alcohol.
Sergeant Webster said there would also be presentations on when seniors should “hand in” their licence.
She stressed the idea of the program was “not to be taking away drivers licences but to support people making that decision” and said there was “no pass and fail” part of the program.
“It’s really just to support our seniors,” Sergeant Webster said.
Other presentations will be conducted by Caravanning Queensland on towing while the University of Southern Queensland will present a program on support for living with dementia and adjusting to life without driving.
Transitioning from cars to mobility scooter will also be covered while participants will also have the opportunity to try a driving simulator.
The program is an initiative of the Ipswich Crime Prevention Unit in partnership with Neighbourhood Watch Queensland and Australasia, Ipswich PCYC ‘Breaking the Cycle’ Program, Able Australia, Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads and Pro Drive Ipswich.
It is funded by the Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors.
Sergeant Webster previously facilitated two of the three presentations at Boonah and Ipswich and said they were “well received” with “very positive feedback”.
Participants who take part in all three of the sessions in March will be given a free in-car safety kit worth $35 and a free one hour driving lesson worth $60.
The Seniors Road Trip to Road Safety will be held at the Somerset Civic Centre, Esk on March 11, 18 and 25 between 10am and 1pm. A light meal will be provided.
RSVP by Friday, March 5, to Jessy at Able Australia on 07 5600 0733 or 0427 211 816.
Residents aged 60 and over and Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander residents aged 50 or over are eligible to apply.
All participants must have a current Queensland driver’s licence.