Stratford Press

Staying Safe: Refresher Courses for Older Drivers


We drive on our roads every day. For many of us they are our lifeline – driving is a means of independen­ce, social connection to family and friends and access to essential services.

With the generous support of Waka Kotahi (NZTA), Age Concern offers free Staying Safe Refresher Courses for Older Drivers all over New Zealand to help keep older people safe on the roads.

The theory-based refresher course is an opportunit­y for people to re-familiaris­e themselves with traffic rules and safe driving practices in a friendly and relaxed environmen­t with other older drivers. The course includes informatio­n on other transport options available to help keep you mobile for as long as possible, whether behind the wheel or when you stop driving.

Check your driving skills online with the Waka Kotahi (NZTA) selfrating driving assessment.

You can complete a self-rating driving assessment online that will help you look at your driving ability and compare it against the requiremen­ts for safe driving. All you need to do is answer 15 questions as honestly as possible based on your driving over the last few years. At the end you will get some helpful suggestion­s to improve any driving skills that are identified as an area you could focus on.

Understand the process for renewing your licence once you turn 75

Once you turn 75 there are a few changes to the process for renewing your driver licence:

Your new licence will be valid for only two to five years.

You need to present a medical certificat­e each time you apply. If recommende­d by your doctor, you will have to sit a 30-minute Safety Test.

The renewal fees are lower – because you are renewing your licence more often.

When driving your car is no longer an option

Consider an e-bike or mobility scooter, that way you will still have your independen­ce. Sure, you won’t be able to drive your mobility scooter to Wellington, but you can drive to the shops or call in to see a friend.

An e-bike will keep you fit, and there are quite a few people who join a group of keen cyclists and meet up for coffee after a brisk ride.

You must make the best of any situation and not having your car licence anymore doesn’t mean you stop enjoying life or your friends.

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