In a unique partnership formed between government and business, the Medina, Ohio, Municipal Court and Keeping Us Safe, LLC, have developed a program that will not only help keep older drivers safe, but will also save them money.
The Court is offering the Keeping Us Safe program to drivers over the age of 60 who are cited into the Medina Municipal Court for a minor misdemeanor traffic offense that involved a crash. These include violations such as speeding, improper backing, assured clear distance, and failing to stop for a red light or stop sign.
When the court receives the traffic ticket, it will send a letter to the offender with information about the program. For drivers over 60 who are found guilty of any minor misdemeanor involving a crash, once the offender has paid the fine and court costs, and if the driver chooses to complete the program, the court will send him or her a check refunding their fine. There is no cost to the drivers or their families for attending the program.
“We are glad to be able to offer this option to drivers over 60,” said Judge Chase. “Whether a crash is caused by a moment of inattention or whether it is a sign of diminishing driving skills, the program will give these drivers a look at the changes we all face as we age. This program is designed to educate people and to save lives.”
The program, Keeping Us Safe, was developed by Matt Gurwell, a former lieutenant with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. This nationally-recognized program is designed to help older drivers and their family deal with the issues and challenges they face related to age-related diminishing driving skills.
The one-hour presentation can best be described as a practical, entertaining and realistic approach to the issue of “Senior Drivers Vs. the Aging Process”. The presentation is not meant to be another safe-driving or driver-refresher program, but rather it is designed to increase awareness concerning the onset of diminishing driving skills related to the aging process. The presentation takes a direct yet compassionate approach to the very sensitive subject of recognizing that someday it may be time to relinquish some of our treasured driving independence.
Gurwell explains “The ultimate goal is not to take away driving opportunities of older drivers, but rather to offer suggestions on how to recognize and compensate for diminishing skills so that our seniors may remain on the roadways as safe drivers.”
The program will be presented on December 14, 2013, at the Weymouth Country Club in Medina, Ohio.
Gurwell explains that plans are underway to make this program available to courts across the United States. For more information on the program visit http://keepingussafe.org/medinamunicourt.htm.