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RACQ urges older drivers to think about hanging up the keys

Is it time to talk about your driving ability?
Is it time to talk about your driving ability? Contributed

THE State's peak motoring body has urged families to have the conversation with older relatives about the right time to give up driving following the launch of a new service by the State Government.

RACQ welcomed the recent initiative for seniors to receive a free proof of identification card and partial refund after surrendering their licence.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: How would handing over the car keys affect your life?

RACQ Executive Manager Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said the decision to give up driving could be daunting.

"We want Queenslanders to talk to older family members and have them consider their ability to continue driving," Mr Spalding said.

"The decision to stop driving may be due to medical reasons or a diminished capacity, and previously that meant older people were left without suitable identification.

"We believe any initiative to make the transition from driving to being off-the-road easier is a good thing."

Mr Spalding said there were a number of transportation alternatives for seniors no longer driving.

"Many people believe handing over your licence is the end of your independence, but it doesn't have to be," he said.

"There are a number of transport options available including taxis, community shuttle buses and public transport."

Mr Spalding said in Queensland, drivers over the age of 75, as well as drivers with medical conditions affecting their ability to drive, were required to carry a medical certificate when driving.

"If you have concerns about a family member's ability to drive you should contact your local GP," he said.

What do you think about this? When is it time to stop driving? How would you feel about hanging up the car keys? And is this a conversation you could have with someone elderly in your family?

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What you're saying on Facebook: 

David Bolton: "The elderly are not the only ones that should hang up there keys, observing some of the atrocious driving skills of a large proportion of people on the Sunshine Coast there are quite a few that should take a look at there own driving skills."

Gail Podberscek: "It's good advice when they lose their sense of safety, but people need to support the elderly when they stop driving - it's often their only way of staying independent. We'll all be there one day!"

Jubbly S Russell: "I am afraid I could never have that conversation with my Dad. I will leave it up to his Doctor and Doctor's nurse. Since my Mum died my Dad has lost most of his self confidence. This would be a nail in his coffin. Literally, I fear."

Topics:  crash driving older drivers racq risk road safety


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