"In The Driver's Seat"®

An initiative of the Lions Club of Warrandyte Inc.


On a sunny afternoon in July, Kathleen Hammond got to drive a car for the first time in more than 10 years, since she lost her sight.

Vision impaired driver

Kathleen was one of more than 110 vision impaired people who took to Sandown Raceway, as part of the Warrandyte Lions Club’s 21st "In The Drivers Seat" event.

In the Drivers Seat pairs vision impaired people with driving instructors, allowing them the chance to get behind the wheel and hitting 100 kilometres an hour!

For Kathleen, her first drive since earning her learners at the age of 16, is not just about a need for speed. “This means I get to do something I don’t normally get to do. Something that all my friends get to do everyday,” she said. “I’ve only got 20 to 15 percent vision left. I’m not allowed to go get my licence, I’m not allowed to go work or anything like that, so today it’s a great day, I get to go driving. Even just to go shopping I have to rely on everyone else, to do stuff like that so it’s really difficult not being able to drive and have my own independence".

The event couldn’t run without support from a team of volunteer driving instructors, who provide their time and their vehicles. Instructor, Wayne Stagg, has been involved in the event since it began 21 years ago and he said the team of 26 instructors get as much from the event as the drivers. In between the waves of drivers taking to the track, volunteers from the Ford Customline Car Club and Ulysses Motor Cycle Club, while many Warrandyte Lions Club members work to entertain and welcome the drivers and their families.

For Murray Rowland from Geelong, who had his third year taking part, it’s the event to look forward to each year. “It’s an enjoyable experience that sighted people take for granted everyday… learning how to turn the steering left and right with wonderful instructors that give their time up and also the Lions Club that provide the snags, the cup of tea and the camaraderie,” Murray said. “it’s all just wonderful for us as vision impaired people to have a chance at something once a year.”

More details can be obtained from Bill Gerritsen on telephone 03 9434 3270 or by writing to:

Lions Club of Warrandyte Inc.
ITDS Chairperson
PO Box 18
Warrandyte Vic 3113

Online Application

The next event, will be on Sunday, 2 July 2017. Online applications, which are encouraged, open on 15 April and close on 15 June for vision impaired people. You may apply if you are over 16 years of age. We need your name, address, date of birth, telephone number, email address (if you have one), name of your guardian (if you're under 18 years), and name and address of a sighted reader who has read the legal documents to you or alternatively you can listen to the legals on the application pages.

You can also choose your preferred driving time (on a first come first served basis). The application page follows by clicking on the 'Apply Now' button that appears below while applications are open. Upon your successful application a confirmation will be sent to you either by email or by letter. Under no circumstances can late applications be considered.

Applications have closed for 2017

Please note bookings are essential as the event runs to a tight schedule from 9am to 4pm.

 

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Warrandyte Lions Club
State Winner 1997

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