The former Mayor of St Helens, Councillor Joe Pearson is to become one of the first motorists in Merseyside to trial an innovative technology designed to help senior drivers to stay safely on the road during their later years.
In conjunction with Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, Councillor Pearson who served as St Helens’ First Citizen for 2017-18, will trial the new ‘SATSAFE’ box in his own vehicle for a period of 6 months.
Satsafe combines the latest after-market in-vehicle technologies to act as a ‘virtual driving assistant’ for motorists, feeding back information on how well you are driving and even providing critical alerts to relatives, friends or in worst-case scenarios, emergency services when you may need urgent assistance, for example immediately following a serious collision.
Councillor Pearson, who represents Billinge and Seneley Green in St Helens, is one of the early adopters of this technology and it is hoped that his involvement will encourage even greater take up across Merseyside and beyond.
The Satsafe black box and dash cam solution is being pioneered to particularly assist senior drivers by helping to monitor their driving and also flag up age-related diminishing driver ability caused by failing eyesight and changes in driving behaviour, such as increasing harsh braking events at junctions.
This will not only provide reassurance to both drivers and their families but may also enable drivers to take remedial action such as having an eye test enabling them to continue to drive safely for as long as possible.
Steve Pang, Spokesperson for Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “Satsafe uses the very latest technology to give drivers that extra reassurance when they are on the road, whilst also helping to alert family members to any potential health issues. This can be particularly important for example with older relatives who may not currently be aware of any problems with their driving.
“With this pilot initiative we are hoping to show just how effective the new technology can be in helping to improve safety for its users while also giving older drivers the confidence to keep driving.”
Councillor Pearson said: “As we get older, it can be easy for us to become complacent or stuck in our ways when on the roads. But if we’re honest with ourselves, there’s always something we could learn and some way we could improve our driving.
“That’s why I’m supporting the Satsafe initiative, and why I’ve been happy to see in my year of Mayoral office the great work done by the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. I look forward to seeing and sharing the results of my black box trial, and discovering ways to improve my driving.”
The Company behind the Satsafe technology is also currently in discussions with one of the UK’s leading providers of insurance for older drivers to explore whether those drivers that demonstrate a consistent safe driver score could benefit from reduced insurance premiums in a similar way to young drivers who opt for black box telematics insurance policies.
Stuart Millward, founder and CEO of Satsafe Technologies said: “My team and I at Satsafe are delighted to be working with Merseyside Road Safety Partnership in welcoming the Mayor of St Helens Council in his trial of the SATSAFE and the Drive Safely for Longer initiative.”
For further information on the Satsafe scheme, visit satsafe.com/seniors
Main photo – Cllr Joe Pearson (right) with members of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, including Steve Pang (centre-right), and Satsafe’s Stuart Millward (centre).