John Plowman to Chair Older Drivers Task Force

The Road Safety Foundation announced today that John Plowman will chair the Older Drivers Task Force. Responding to the fast growing population of older drivers, the Task Force was proposed by the Foundation in November as a key recommendation in its Making Road Safety Pay report. The charity’s proposal gained the support of both government and of Ageas UK which offered to help fund and carry out the work.

The aim of the Task Force is to provide practical support for older drivers and their families in the form of a comprehensive national strategy. Initiatives to be considered include a focus on self-help, driver assistance technologies, better in-vehicle protection and road design for older drivers. The Task Force will review national and international evidence and best practice. It is expected to report its findings to government in mid-2016.

Foundation Council Member, John Dawson, said: “John Plowman is ideal for this role. Not only is he a Trustee of the Road Safety Foundation with wide road safety experience but, as a former senior civil servant, he has had practical experience overseeing the driver and vehicle agencies. He is uniquely fluent with both policy and practice in this area.”

John Plowman said: “I am very pleased to take up this role. As we live and work longer and lead healthier lives, we need to reconsider driving in later years, which is increasingly becoming the norm. A safe, mobile older population is essential to our social fabric and the UK economy.

“The Task Force will be seeking evidence across a wide range of disciplines. I am very grateful to the many organisations and eminent people who are offering to contribute. We will be calling formally for evidence early in the New Year.”

Road Safety Minister Robert Goodwill said “I welcome John Plowman’s appointment to this role. There is a growing number of older drivers in the UK and indeed I hope to become one myself one day. It is important they have appropriate support and I wish the Task Force every success in its work.”

The CEO of Ageas UK, Andy Watson said: “As Britain’s third largest motor insurer with a signficant share of the older driver insurance market, we are pleased to be supporting this work. By 2030, the number of drivers over 70 will grow by a further half. We must understand what older drivers and their families need and want when it comes to safe driving; to capture best practice at home and abroad; and understand the role new technologies can play to keep them safe on our roads.”


Note to Editors

The report Making Road Safety Pay was launched at a reception in Parliament on November 3rd. In one of seven key recommendations, it recommended Britain should follow the United States and develop a National Older Driver Strategy with a Task Force to develop this plan.

About John Plowman

John Plowman is a former senior civil servant with a career in a number of Whitehall Departments including Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence, Environment and Transport including international relationships. He carried responsibilities for road and vehicle safety policy and was Chair of the Driver and Vehicle Operator group at the Department for Transport 2002-3.

Outside the Civil Service, John Plowman is an associate of Risk Solutions and WSP and has carried out assignments for the Highways Agency, DEFRA , the AA, the IAM and the National Audit Office. As well as being a Trustee of the Road Safety Foundation, he is a Director of PACTS and RoadSafe, chairs the governors of a school in Southwark and was chairman of the London Sustainable Development Commission. In his spare time he is a liveryman of the Coachmakers Company.


Media contacts

Road Safety Foundation: Caroline Moore on 01256 345598 or 07787 228166

Ageas UK: Press Office: 023 8035 2754 Mob: 07748 841874 E-mail:

Hadstrong: Becky Hadley 020 7808 7997