Road Danger Reduction Forum)
Safer Roads For All
For anybody who needs convincing that the official “road safety” establishment is part of the problem of danger on the roads, look no further than SUPPORTING SAFE DRIVING INTO OLD AGE: A National Older Driver Strategy . Allegedly addressing the problems of older drivers, this report – as so much of official “road safety” does routinely – accommodates them to the detriment of their actual or potential victims.
More older drivers?
A key assumption of “A National Older Driver Strategy” (I’ll call it NODS) is that there will be far more elderly drivers. While there may indeed be an increase, or even an increase with a sensible transport policy, the kind of numbers discussed are essentially a version of “predict and provide”. Rather than see the current transport mix as problematic, and attempting to change it towards the more sustainable modes, NODS embraces a non-sustainable future where motorisation rules.
According to former transport Minister Lord Whitty (Chairman of the authors, the Road Safety Foundation) “Being able to drive is a key part of maintaining independence, looking after oneself and the personal well-being that keeps older people healthy and fulfilled. Giving up driving can trigger decline, reliance on others and expensive public services.” So never mind walking or cycling, it’s driving that keeps you healthy!
There is a brief mention that older people should have access to alternatives. NODS doesn’t consider that many older people may, unlike the authors of the report, actually prefer to live in a less car-dominated society. But the assumption is that the alternatives would only be taxis. There is one brief reference to public transport (presumably one of those “expensive public services”), and none at all to cycling.