April 16, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
41°F

Older drivers to be re-educated by court program

Older drivers involved in minor crashes are getting a chance to renew their skills through a court-sponsored program — and it might save them some bucks, too.

Medina Municipal Judge Dale Chase has entered into a partnership with the HANDS Foundation, a non-profit aiding senior citizens in Medina County. The foundation oversees Keeping Us Safe, a Willoughby company established in 2008, that specializes in driving education for older adults.

Matt Gurwell

The hourlong program — which is free to participants — is for drivers older than 60 who are found guilty of misdemeanors in connection to a vehicular crash. Such drivers who complete the program will be refunded their fines.

“We are glad to be able to offer this option to drivers over 60,” Chase said.

“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 will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at Weymouth Country Club, 3946 Weymouth Road, Medina Township.

Keeping Us Safe was developed by Matt Gurwell, a former lieutenant with the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Gurwell stressed the program is designed to educate older drivers about driving skills ebbing with age.

“The ultimate goal is not to take away driving opportunities of older drivers,” he said, “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.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.