ACT & Region Chapter
|Chair||Mr Eric Chalmers||02 6290 2243|
|Secretary||Mr Keith Wheatley||02 6242 9549|
|Treasurer||Mr Steve Lake||02 6162 5152|
|Member||Ms Melissa Weller||02 62261477|
|Member||Mr Eddie Wheeler||02 62581918|
|Member||Mr Geoff Davidson||02 6207 7195|
|Member||Mrs Claire Howe||ACRS Executive Officer|
|Member||Ms Laurelle Tunks||ACRS Journal Managing Editor|
ACRS ACT & Region Chapter Forum ‘Drug Driving’ seminars: 13 July 2016
Download the ACT Road Safety Forum 2016 Drug Driving Report here.
ACRS ACT & Region Chapter ‘Liver longer, drive safer’ seminars: 17 & 19 March 2014 - THE WRAP
Working in conjunction with the Council of the Ageing (COTA) and others organisers of the 2014 ACT Senior Citizens Week, the Chapter ran two identical seminars for senior drivers aimed at: providing information on driving for seniors; addressing any concerns they may have about driving; helping them monitor their driving; and answering questions about driving.
All presenters spoke with compassion about the issues which face older drivers without backing away from the serious aspects that needed to be addressed. Coincidentally, but not unexpectedly, each speaker reaffirmed the essential messages of the others.
Presenters recognised that to most people driving represents not only a means of transportation but a symbol of independence and self-reliance; and it can be crucial for performing shopping, attending appointments and for visiting family and friends. Older people who are mobile and drive may have fewer health problems. Driving one’s own vehicle is associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, less loneliness and better perceived control. Forfeiture of driving privileges is considered by older people to be a major loss in terms of social identification, control and independence.
Attendees took the opportunity to question the presenters at both sessions. While one seminar focussed on issues associated with medical and practical driving issues, some attendees at the other raised the question of alternative ways to maintain mobility. These mainly related to questions about the adequacy and frequency of weekday public transport for seniors without a car. Another proposed that people should be encouraged to cycle earlier in life and continue in their older age.
- As we age changes in motor function can include:- decreased movement, decline in muscle strength and endurance, increases in reaction time, changes to sensation, changes in awareness of positioning of limbs
- these changes impact on – gipping and turning the steering wheel, difficulty operating pedals in a smooth controlled manner, backing and parking a vehicle and transferring in and out of the vehicle.
- Changes in vision can – decrease peripheral vision, decrease ability to see at night, increase sensitivity to glare and decrease depth perception. This results in drivers having difficulty in their – ability to see signs, judge distances, and seeing pedestrians and other objects at night.
- Changes in cognition can include: affect our memory skills (STM), slow the processing of information, cause changes in attention with distractibility and in judgement and planning skills, in problem solving and the ability to anticipate, and in spatial thinking eg navigating from point A to point B. It may also lead to reduced concentration skills and reduced ability to multitask.
- Continue to promote road safety knowledge among the senior driving population in the ACT and surrounding NSW region
- Promote the activities of Driver Assessment and Rehabilitation Service programs in the ACT and New South Wales among drivers and medical practitioners
- Promote the use of the 18+ card as an alternative for identification in place of the Driver Licence; and the use of bus passes, community transport and taxi vouchers which are available through government assistance schemes.
- Encourage older drivers to be honest with their doctors, discuss driving with family members, and consider a ‘Special Licence’ and to prepare for possible withdrawal of licence.
- Advocate that road safety authorities undertake research aimed at finding means to reduce the number and severity of the crash types involving older drivers
- Road safety organisations should continue to work closely with Alzheimer’s Australia and other specialist bodies servicing the older age community.
- Raise the issues by some attendees related to public transport with ACTION Buses.
Download the presentations as follows:
- Geoff Davidson Manager, Road Safety Policy, ACT Government
- Professor Kaarin Anstey Director, Centre for Research on Ageing Health & Wellbeing, Australian National University
- Brian McKinlay & Susan Humphries Driving Assessment & Rehabilitation Service, ACT Health
- ACT Policing
Please download the Flyer for more information. Also download the Council on the Ageing’s (COTA’s) Are you over 50 – Would you like to get out and about more? Flyer here. This Flyer details COTA ACT’s FREE travel training program.
Chapter Information and Links:
- ACT & Region Chapter Annual Report 2009-10
- ACT & Region Chapter Annual Report 07_08 (PDF)
- 2007 Road Traffic Crashes in the ACT
- NRMA – ACT Road Safety Trust
- St John Ambulance Australia (ACT) Inc.
- Territory and Municipal Services – Road Safety
- Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT
- ACT Policing
- Pedal Power ACT
- NSW Region Road Safety Officers