Grey Pride: A manifesto | 15
What should happen
• Launch research focusing on
how to improve road safety for
older people. This has already
been done in Northern Ireland
where there is a Commissioner
for Older People.
• Introduce fines if local
authorities or the Highways
Agency fail to maintain
unobstructed views at junctions
which are accident black spots.
• Ensure the Transport Research
Laboratory uses test dummies
reflecting people over the
age of 60 so that car designs
better protect older drivers and
• Provide adequate funding so
that pavements are maintained
to safe standards.
• Ensure transport operators give
"old age" the same prominence
as "disability" when they
determine their policies.
over 80 it has only fallen by 16 per cent. And
older people represent 14% of all pedestrian
casualties but 38% of all pedestrian fatalities.
PACTS recommends the development of
an information pack and national course for
older drivers to make them aware of how
ageing affects people's ability to drive safely.
Pavements are an even more significant
issue. Over 65s are 10 times more likely
to be admitted to A&E following falls on
footpaths than because of road accidents.
Anchor's research in 2012 found 43% of
those surveyed thought many pavements
were not safe. We support PACTS'
recommendations for better-maintained and
Poor quality pavements and dimly-lit streets
make many older people less likely to
venture out. This increases social isolation -
another major challenge for older people.
Safety is also an issue on public transport.
Despite older people experiencing a large
number of trips and falls relative to other age
groups, PACTS found "transport operators
do not view meeting the needs of older
people as a high priority." Simple measures,
such as grab rails in train stations, would
make public transport more user-friendly.
PACTS concludes: "If an individual does
not feel safe on the walk to the station, or
waiting on the platform, then they will avoid
the whole journey."
There needs to be a joined-up approach to
these issues: investing in well-maintained
pavements, road junctions and public
transport means fewer older people will end
up in hospital. The intervention of a Minister
for Older People would bring different
agencies together to address this as a joint