OAPs are new threat on roads

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SAFETY CAMPAIGNERS are worried about a new threat on the county’s roads – older drivers.

Figures produced show a new trend in Lincolnshire in the last three years for more over 60s to have been involved in accidents.

It comes at a time when efforts are continuing to educate young motorists and the large migrant population in the Spalding area about the perils of drinking and driving.

Greville Burgess, Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership’s (LRSP) principal road safety co-ordinator, said the issue with older drivers first started to show in 2010.

Now as part of the partnership’s role in educating road users, it is arranging classroom sessions for older drivers, as well as working with Age UK.

He said in some cases older drivers had difficulty in understanding the workings of modern cars with added technology, being initially ignorant for instance of how anti-lock breaking systems worked.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and LRSP have also stepped up efforts to warn against the dangers of driving too soon the next day if people have been out on heavy drinking sessions the night before.

It can take at least 12 hours to get most alcohol out of the body, but still leave enough to fail a breath-test or continue to be a danger to others.

Excess speed and drinking and driving remained key risks to road safety in Lincolnshire, although in addition the LRSP is now having to educate migrants.

They understood about not driving after drinking in pubs but sometimes did not see a danger if drinking with a meal at home then going out.

Deaths on the county’s roads are down up to the same period in 2011, but the partnership still had much work to do, Mr Burgess said.

His comments came in the same week that the IAM voiced concerns about drinking and driving which Department of Transport figures showed was involved in 15 per cent of all fatalities.

Francis Hughes, secretary of the IAM’s Boston group, covering Spalding, said: “Any rise in drink drive casualties is a worry.

“The problem is many crashes occur the morning after – there needs to be more education on the effects of driving after drinking.”

Mr Burgess warned that, contrary to some people’s thinking, a big meal before or after a heavy night’s drinking, actually delayed the time it took for a body to get rid of alcohol.