In 2013 Hampshire Constabulary identified an increase in collisions involving older drivers. Following a detailed study, the force developed and piloted the Fitness to Drive Assessment (FTD) scheme as an alternative to prosecution for Careless and Inconsiderate Driving. For specific vulnerable road user groups, the FTD Assessment scheme is used instead of the NDORS Safe and Considerate Driving Course (SCD).
The FTD Assessment scheme assesses certain drivers who often need better support and evaluation to ensure, following a careless driving incident, they are still safe to drive, namely older drivers, drivers of adapted vehicles and those where suspicion of a medical condition may have been a contributory factor. Although excellent, the National NDORS scheme does not cater for these vulnerable drivers’ individual needs, resulting in many opting for prosecution and continuing to drive, when in fact, they may no longer be safe to do so.
The FTD Assessment scheme identifies those who are safe to continue driving, those who require further skills training, and those who are no longer safe, so need to retire from driving. The FTD Assessment ultimately supplies actionable evidence for the DVLA to review a person’s licence status. The scheme has been a great success and results have shown that ultimately 70% produce a safe drive, where 30% have shown to no longer be safe to drive who would most likely continued to drive if attended the national course.
The FTD Assessment scheme has been independently reviewed and found to be fair, proportionate and appropriate for the police to use when dealing with vulnerable road user groups. It was created by Rob Heard whilst serving as a Road Safety Sergeant for Hampshire Constabulary. Sixteen forces are now running this scheme with great success and many others are joining.
The Police Forces offering the scheme currently are:
Avon and Somerset, Cheshire, Dorset, Dyfed-Powys, Essex, Gloucestershire, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Humberside, Kent, Lincolnshire, Merseyside, Northumbria, Nottinghamshire, South Wales, West Yorkshire.
If you are a Police Force looking at the Fitness to Drive Programme
Police Forces that would like more information about the scheme can talk to Rob Heard and obtain the ‘Guide to the Police Fitness to Drive Assessment’ that provides all of the documentation and information necessary to set up and run the scheme.
The guide is available FREE of charge to any police force interested in adopting the scheme. Rob is available to help and assist you to set up the scheme in your Police Force at no additional charge.
You can contact Rob direct by email firstname.lastname@example.org