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AARP, bank team up to help senior drivers

Senior citizens will be able to receive a little extraassistance with their driving skills Tuesday and Wednesday duringthe 55 Alive Driver Safety Program.

The program, developed by the American Association of RetiredPersons (AARP), is an eight-hour class that serves as a refreshercourse for senior citizens.

“It really helps them because it retrains them and freshens uptheir driving skills,” said Brenda Richardson, community relationsofficer at Trustmark National Bank, which is sponsoring theevent.

55 Alive will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m. Wednesday on the third floor of Trustmark, located onWhitworth Avenue.

The course will cover the effects of aging and medications,basic driving rules, the license renewal process, local traffichazards, adverse road conditions, energy saving and accidentprevention measures. It is taught by Doris Rhodes, the assistantstate coordinator.

Due to the fact that many senior citizens have had theirdriver’s license for over 30 years, it is important they getupdated on the rules of the roadways, Richardson pointed out.

Research shows that elderly drivers are involved in moreaccidents than their middle-aged counterparts when the record isbased on actual miles driven. However, research has also shown thatthey may improve their abilities through additional training.

“A lot of insurance companies, not all of them, will give adiscount for people 55 years and older who take this course,” saidRichardson, adding that the course certifies drivers for threeyears.

Around 25 people have already signed up for the class, which canhave as many as 35 participants.

A small fee will be charged. For more information, contactRichardson at 835-3570.