El­derly need trans­port

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

The Gov­ern­ment needs to pro­vide the el­derly with al­ter­na­tives to driv­ing cars, a lead­ing road safety cam­paigner says.

Car re­view web­site do­gan­dle­mon.com ed­i­tor Clive Matthew-Wil­son says 29 peo­ple aged 75 or over died or suf­fered se­ri­ous in­juries on the roads last year.

Mr Matthew-Wil­son says old peo­ple drive be­cause cars give them a sense of in­de­pen­dence but also be­cause they they have lit­tle choice.

He says the Gov­ern­ment needs to cre­ate a na­tional strat­egy aimed at pro­vid­ing old peo­ple with al­ter­na­tives to us­ing cars and en­cour­ag­ing their use.

‘‘For ex­am­ple, the Gov- ern­ment could help fund spe­cial buses to take old peo­ple shop­ping or bowl­ing.

‘‘Af­ter teenage males, old peo­ple are one of the high­est risk groups on our roads.

‘‘The en­tire New Zealand trans­port sys­tem is based around cars and trucks, with very few al­ter­na­tives. Old peo­ple, in par­tic­u­lar, tend to live in places that are dis­tant from con­ve­nient pub­lic trans­port. In ru­ral ar­eas there’s of­ten no pub­lic trans­port at all.’’

He says the Gov­ern­ment should also re­quire de­vel­op­ers to pro­vide easy ac­cess to pub­lic trans­port, rather than bas­ing developments solely around car parks.

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