Helping seniors feel more confident driving on New Zealand roads is the objective behind workshops being run by Age Concern and funded by Waka Kotahi.
Marian Dean, manager of Age Concern Manawatu, was in Dannevirke last week to facilitate a workshop for people over 65 at the Elske Centre.
The workshop is an opportunity for older people to refresh their knowledge of the road code, Dean said.
"It's very easy for us to pass our tests and never look at the road code again," she said.
The workshops also include self-assessments of driving ability and awareness.
The main focus is on the ageing process and its impact on people's abilities, not just in people's thinking processes but also in their physical abilities.
"It covers essentially how we can be safe by making us aware of the ageing process.
"Things like medication and the impact of that on our driving, how we can keep safe.
"Thinking about how we drive and where we drive and when we drive."
Medication was important because some prescription medicines can also have side effects, such as drowsiness or dizziness, which can have some serious consequences.
According to police, people on medication need to check if it can affect their ability to drive and risks causing fatal accidents or injury to themselves.
Police will use discretion and take action on what is deemed appropriate for the situation, either with education, compliance or enforcement.
The workshops were also an opportunity for seniors to think about an alternative when they felt they needed to or were forced to stop driving.
"Any one of us could have an accident or medical incident that means we are no longer able to hold a licence," Dean said.
"The overarching thing is for older people to be confident drivers or recognise when they need to stop driving."
Another important part of the workshop was maintaining social connection.
"We also want older people to participate in the community so that they're at less risk of being isolated and lonely," Dean said.
"So it's an opportunity to upskill in the road code and their knowledge of driving and also consider how they can stay socially connected."
Adult educator Nikki Martin said she had been told by some elderly that they feel unsafe on the roads.
"There's a lot more traffic and a lot more heavy vehicles."
The Dannevirke resident, who teaches learner licence theory and facilitates for those with learning needs, believes that a refresher course on the road code, as well as discussions around what happens on the roads, would help a lot of seniors gain more confidence.