John Plowman, Chair of the Older Drivers Task Force

John Plowman had a career in several Government departments including Defence, the FCO (in Brussels), Environment and Transport. In the last of these he was head of road and vehicle safety, DOE/DfT regional director in the north west and interim chair of the Driver and Vehicle Operator Group.

After leaving the Civil Service he joined the boards of PACTS, RoadSafe and the Road Safety Foundation, was chair of the London Sustainable Development Commission (2009-14), and most recently chair of the Older Drivers Task Force.

Under John Plowman’s chairmanship, the Older Drivers Task Force published a report, Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age, which sets out a national older driver strategy.

In compiling the report, 25 experts and organisations analysed the latest international evidence, available technology and road safety schemes and made a number of recommendations amongst which are:

• The mandatory fitness to drive self- declaration for licence renewal should be raised from 70 to 75 years
• There should be compulsory eye-testing for licence renewal from the age of 75 years
• A ‘silver’ NCAP rating should be developed for car designs that specifically protects older, potentially frailer, drivers.
• Road design, signs and markings should be improved to meet the highest international standards specifically for older drivers – but with benefits for all.
• There should be better information, financial incentives and schemes to encourage older drivers to undertake voluntary fitness to drive appraisals.
• There should be a minister with responsibility for older drivers.
• Insurers should pool research into the statistically rare major claims involving older drivers to understand the detailed causes.

Question Time at the Older Road User Conference
The conference will include a Question time session when delegates will have the opportunity to put questions to a panel of experts with regard to older road users. John Plowman will be one of the panellists in this session.