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A Word from the Wise
Thursday 15th January, 2009

A Word from the Wise
Road safety manager Julie Dagnall, Arthur Drinnan, 83, Paul Moore from Driving Standards, Terry Chivers, 66, and Gary Whittaker from Wigan Advanced Motorists.

Never too old to learn new tricks, and happy to be advised by the pros, that’s the mature drivers of the borough.
Some two dozen seasoned motorists, who passed their tests more than thirty years ago, gathered at Leigh Library this week for a refresher course. In some cases, the drivers hadn’t actually taken a test in their lives!

Organised by Wigan Council’s road safety team, and with Wigan Advanced Motorists and Driving Standards Agency experts, the course continues to be a hugely popular…and free…way to improve road safety for the borough’s ageing population. The next session will be 4 February in Wigan.

Standish businessman Terry Chivers, 66, was happy to attend last time. “I’m sure many motorists would fail their tests if they were every called back,” he said. “Today we have had a worthwhile lesson in how driving has changed since we had our lessons. Thank you.”

Arthur Drinnan from Leigh never took a test. “But I have been driving for 65 years,” he smiles. “This has been a very useful session.” Arthur’s earliest driving experiences were in the army, where he drove ten ton trucks around the channel ports. “I was there on D Day,” the old soldier says, “but even at 83, I am happy to take advice on safe driving.”

Following the morning’s course, there’s a chance to go out for a special one-to-one drive with experts. They comment and advise to suit the type of motoring the attendees are comfortable with. Some drivers may have lost a partner, and then their confidence, or need some tips on modern driving. All are offered specially discounted lessons with the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

The council’s environment champion, Cllr David Molyneux, adds: “We are addressing road safety across many groups – high visibility jackets for children, education for the next generation of drivers, and a chance to go on the driving simulator at our public exhibitions. But I know how popular the mature drivers’ sessions are, and want to thank those who have completed the course for doing their bit for road safety.”

Drivers will be out on the roads with the experts in the next couple of weeks and the council’s team are already looking to the next free course. Bookings are now being taken for Wigan Investment Centre on Wednesday February 4. For details, contact the team on 01942 488250.

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