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The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety
has today published a major report looking at safe mobility for an ageing population. The report,
entitled “It’s My Choice” and available by clicking on the link above, looks at all
aspects of public and private transport, arguing that we need to promote greater and
safer mobility for an ageing society in order to ensure the benefits that independent
mobility can bring to quality of life.

The title ‘It’s my choice’ reflects the main theme of the report: helping older people
to help themselves, so that they can make better, safer, well-informed choices. The
conclusions and policy recommendations reached in the report do not seek to restrict
or impose strict regulation, but rather to encourage and support older people. In
the safe systems approach the aim is to design a system where inevitable errors of
judgement do not result in death or serious injury. Responsibility for keeping users
safe even when they make mistakes is shared amongst the designers, builders and
providers of the system. Therefore, in order for older people to be safer, the public
realm, infrastructure for motoring and public transport, and vehicles should all be
designed to pose as low a risk as reasonably practicable on older users. Older people
themselves should also be supported and encouraged to keep themselves as safe as
possible, by raising awareness and providing clear, evidence-based information.

Commenting on the report, Robert Gifford, Executive Director of PACTS, said “Over
the next decade the balance of the population in this country will change. Older
people need to be kept mobile and safe. I hope that this report will generate a national
discussion about the state of our pavements and the relevance of self-regulation when
it comes to giving up your driving licence. We need to move beyond seeing older
people as a problem to viewing them as contributing to a mixed society.”

Christopher Macgowan
twitter: motorhomenews