Older drivers encouraged to take driving refresher course

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CHESTERFIELD, MO (KTVI) - Older drivers are encouraged to take part in a safety course designed to keep them and others safe on the road.

The course, hosted by AARP, will be held at the Chesterfield Police Department Wednesday, April 19 from 9 am to 1 pm.

Chesterfield Police Sgt. Keith Rider said as drivers get older, their driving skills and familiarity with the road can change.

“Some people had their last driving test, maybe 50 years ago,” he said. “A lot has changed, over that time, from what’s inside the car. Just from a manual to an automatic transmission. All the different computer devices, that are involved in cars now. And the roads have changed, yes.”

Sgt. Rider said the most common problem associated with older drivers is confusion over foot pedals.

“The most serious crashes we have had involving elderly drivers has been mistaking the brake for the gas, or the gas for the brake,” he said.

In February, a driver who was parking outside a Great Clips Salon made that mistake, stepping on the gas pedal. The car plowed into the salon. No one at the salon was injured.

Participants do not have to be AARP members to participate.

Those individuals who graduate from the course may be eligible for a discount from their auto insurance carrier.

The fee for AARP members is $15. Non-members may attend for $20.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling (636) 537–3000 or email Officer Chadwick Meyer at cmeyer@chesterfield.mo.us.

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