John Plowman


John Plowman had a career in several Government Departments including Defence, the FCO (in Brussels), Environment and Transport. In the last of these he was head of road and vehicle safety, DOE/DfT regional director in the North West and interim chair of the Driver and Vehicle Operator Group.

After leaving the Civil Service he joined the boards of PACTS, RoadSafe and the Road Safety Foundation, was chair of the London Sustainable Development Commission (2009-14), and most recently chair of the Older Drivers Task Force under the sponsorship of Ageas and the Road Safety Foundation.

Presentation: The work of the Older Drivers Task Force
The report of the Older Drivers Task Force, Supporting Safe Driving into Old Age, sets out a national older driver strategy. People are living longer, healthier, more active lives and driving safely for longer. The influx of older drivers has important social and economic value but also presents road safety risks if nothing is done to adapt.

Some 25 experts and organisations analysed the latest international evidence, available technology and road safety schemes and made a number of recommendations amongst which are:

  • The mandatory fitness to drive self- declaration for licence renewal should be raised from 70 to 75
  • There should be compulsory eye-testing for licence renewal from the age of 75
  • A “silver” NCAP rating should be developed for car designs that specifically protects older, potentially frailer, drivers.
  • Road design, signs and markings should be improved to meet the highest international standards specifically for older drivers but with benefits for all.
  • There should be better information, financial incentives and schemes to encourage older drivers to undertake voluntary fitness to drive appraisals.
  • There should be a minister with responsibility for older drivers.
  • Insurers should pool research into the statistically rare major claims involving older drivers to understand the detailed causes.