Veteran motorsport ace joins the campaign for mature driver safety

Legendarymotorsport racing and rallydriver Paddy Hopkirk is supporting Buckinghamshire County Council’s campaign for safer driving for mature motorists.

Paddy, who won the 1964 Monte Carlo Rally in his Mini Cooper S, is known for his nationaladvocacy work with organisations working for young driver safety.

Now Paddy, whose professional motorsport driving career spanned 15 years, has added mature drivers to his campaigning and has already met three national motoring organisations for discussions about safety for over-65 drivers.

‘I was horrified when I read the collision statistics for over-65s,’ said Paddy. ‘So I’m very pleased to be able to support the council’s campaign, to do all we can to stop people having accidents.’

And on Saturday (October 2) Paddy, who lives at Penn, Buckinghamshire, went out in his Mini Cooper JCWwithDarren Mundy, one of the County Council’s Mature Driver Scheme assessors, for his own assessment drive – a one-hour observation followed by a report on driving skills.

After his one-hour assessment drive with Darren, Paddy, who is 82, said: ‘I enjoyed the drive. It’s very good to revisit your driving skills regularly – we all get a bit rusty!’

Mark Shaw Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Transport said the Mature Driver Scheme aimed to keep the county’s older motorists driving safely for longer.

With a 60% rise in the number of killed and seriously injured collisions involving drivers over 65 between 2009 and 2013, and an expected population increase of more than 30,000 over-65s in the next 10 years, Mark is concerned there is an increased risk of being involved in a collision.

Regular assessment through the County Council’s Mature Driver Scheme is a no-hassle way to keep driving skills and driver confidence in good condition, says Mark.

‘I believe we should do all we can locally to keep our older drivers driving safely and confidently on our roads,’ said Mark. ‘And I’m really grateful toPaddy for lending his support to our campaign. That’s a real bonus!’

Since April 2012 more than 260 mature drivers have taken the course – the youngest at 61 and oldest at 94 – and more than a 25% have returned for reassessment. The one-hour assessment costs £37.

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