Sargeant Rob Heard is the founder and chairperson of the Older Drivers Forum and the road safety sergeant for Hampshire and Thames Valley Police.
Rob has been in the police force for 29 years and is passionate about road safety. He is an advanced police car driver and motorcyclist and leads the Hampshire and thames Valley force’s VIP escort team.
Rob instigated the Older Drivers Forum following a number of serious incidents involving older drivers. After extensive research he saw a real need to help and support older drivers to drive safely for longer.
The Older Drivers Forum takes a partnership approach and since its creation in 2013 has enjoyed great success in reducing older driver incidents and increasing help and support to older drivers and other interested parties. Rob has assisted stakeholders in other parts of the country to set up their own schemes to help and support this vulnerable group.
He is a member of the National Older Drivers Task Force and chairs the committee looking at self help and support. The task force presented a national strategy to the UK Government in July 2016, with some key recommendations to help and support to older drivers to carry on driving safely for longer .
Presentation: Driving Safely for Longer
Rob’s presentation will look at why he set up the Older Drivers Forum and how the Forum gives help and support to mature motorists, concerned family members and medical practitioners in order to help them carry on driving safely for longer, and prepare for when it is time to retire from driving.
He will talk about the voluntary driving appraisals the Forum offers for different needs, as well as the need to remind drivers about the importance of regular eyesight tests. He will also speak about the purpose built assessment he has designed and set up for older drivers who commit the offence of careless driving, and how this has now been rolled out across many areas of the country.