Graham Mylward, Senior Road Safety Officer, Hampshire County Council
Graham Mylward has led on Hampshire’s Driver Skills Scheme 60+ for 10 years. In this time he has observed driver behaviour in many different situations and worked closely with other local agencies, including the local Driving Mobility Centre.
The scheme’s receipt of the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award was largely based on increasing contact with local doctors who referred many drivers to the road safety team for assessment. The award recognised a sharp drop in older driver casualties in the areas of focus following this intervention. More recently, the scheme’s approach has been developed to overcome some early concerns from others about giving drivers a false sense of security about their driving abilities where medical conditions are involved.
Presentation: The road to retirement from driving
The end of the road for many drivers is for medical reasons. Some medical conditions enable people to carry on driving for a while but their ability to stay safe deteriorates over time at variable rates. The current situation is that drivers who are sensible in compensating by staying on familiar local roads are then drawn into a complex system of form filling, licencing issues and sometimes an assessment at a Driving Mobility Centre on roads, and in traffic situations they would never normally expect to drive on. Others merely have to get the go ahead from their GP to continue driving.
Hampshire’s road safety team has developed a well thought out scheme that advises doctors on the driving capabilities of their patients, taking into account the nature of the roads they normally drive on and carried out in their own vehicle. By reporting this to the doctor he/she will be more likely to make a valued judgment on 'Fitness to Drive'. This system also helps to make drivers become accustomed to the need to retire from driving rather than by it being suddenly thrust upon them.