Program aims for wiser drivers and safer roads
A PROGRAM that ran in Torquay throughout August has helped elderly drivers be safer and feel more confident when driving.
The Wiser Driver program, which is funded by VicRoads, acts as a refresher for older drivers, helping them build on their experience and continue driving safely.
Program instructor Lee Knight says Wiser Driver not only contributes to road safety, but helps older drivers keep their freedom.
“The program aims to keep older drivers on road longer and safer,” Ms Knight said.
“When someone has their licence either taken away or has to give it up for medical reasons, their loss of independence, their loss of personal well-being, the loss of sense of identity, can all impact their mental health. So, by keeping people on the road longer and safer we are ensuring that they have a more fruitful retirement.”
The program consists of a two-hour session each week over four weeks. It looks to
address any concerns participants may have about driving.
The program also teaches people about things such as how driving has changed over the years, the effects medicines can have of driving, how to keep a car in good condition, how to assess your own driving and how to plan for the future.
Ms Knight began running the program just a few years ago, but the positive response to it has seen it grow quickly. There are now other instructors also running the program.
This year the University of the Third Age helped coordinated the program, while the RACV hosted it at their Torquay resort.
Ms Knight says she is grateful for the support she has had in spreading the program.
“The program is going from strength to strength.
“The first year we did two programs in the Geelong area. Last financial year we did 10 that included Surf Coast Shire, Colac and Otway Shire, Golden Plains Shire, and Queenscliff Shire. This year we have funding for 14 programs.”
Those programs not only include 10 Wiser Driver courses, but two Wiser Walker and Wiser Scooter ones as well.