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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 21:08 GMT
Call over elderly drivers' safety
Wall damaged in a car crash
Help the Aged has defended the driving of elderly motorists
Police in Sussex have said elderly motorists should "consider whether they are safe to be driving".

The comments came after a mother and son were knocked down in Polegate, near Eastbourne, by a car being driven by a 71-year-old woman.

The driver was not prosecuted because she immediately surrendered her licence following the accident.

"We'll be looking to encourage drivers to look at themselves," said Insp Steve Grace, from Sussex Police.

"Particularly in Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill, there is a large elderly population.

"I want to stress we're not after all elderly people giving up driving.

"It is about individuals making the choice about when it is right for them to give up."

Julie and Jacques Porteous
Julie Porteous is still unable to walk following the accident

Julie Porteous and her son Jacques were badly injured in the accident in Polegate on 3 January.

A car mounted the kerb at a roundabout, hit them as they walked on the pavement and then continued on through a wall.

Ms Porteous suffered several broken bones in her leg, while Jacques needed 22 stitches in a head injury.

"I'm cross she [the driver] hasn't been prosecuted," Ms Porteous said.

But Alan Burnett, from Help the Aged, argued: "Older people do develop impairments and by and large I think they tend to compensate in terms of where they drive and when they drive.

"The evidence is that older drivers are relatively safe drivers."


SEE ALSO
Old hands at the wheel
21 Nov 06 |  Special Reports
Man drove wrong way on motorway
30 Aug 06 |  South of Scotland
Mature drivers get safety checks
08 May 06 |  South of Scotland
Safety message for older people
20 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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