RUTHERFORD – Ensuring that New Jersey’s more than one million mature drivers remain safely on the road is the focus of a new Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) mature driver program entitled, Wisdom Behind the Wheel. The MVC kicked off the safety program during a visit to the 55 Kip Center in Rutherford Boro along with partners from the state’s Department of Transportation and Division of Highway Traffic Safety, AAA and the medical community.
“The MVC and its partners have developed a positive mature driver program that’s a helpful discussion about driving as long as safely possible by recognizing the effects of aging and making necessary adjustments,” said MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “A discussion with senior groups shouldn’t be all about giving up the keys when simple life adjustments can be made to ensure the safety of a driver and his or her passengers.”
Wisdom Behind the Wheel is a conversational-style program aimed at drivers 65 and over where the MVC and other safety partners cover a wide range of topics such as sharing the road, adjusting driving habits, the effects of aging, safe driver courses, pedestrian safety and general vehicle care. The MVC regularly visits senior centers to discuss motor vehicle topics with the most common concern being the loss of the ability to drive. The Wisdom Behind the Wheel program seeks to alleviate that concern with a wealth of information designed to help mature drivers make wise decisions and remain safely on the road.
“When you look at the data, senior drivers are actually some of the most conscientious drivers out there,” said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky. “They are more likely to wear seatbelts and less likely to drink and drive. They restrict their driving by staying off the roads when they’re the most dangerous. But the senior population is booming and there’s a need for a program like this, which will offer the kind of education that ensures they continue to engage in safe-driving habits.”
In addition to useful behind-the-wheel tips, the program covers other important topics including pedestrian safety and roadway safety; all which benefit the driver as a whole.
“We fully support this MVC initiative because safety for all who share our roads is our top priority,” said New Jersey Department of Transportation Commissioner James Simpson. “Our program to track the condition of roadway signs and replace them as needed complements this MVC initiative because clear, easy-to-read signage benefits motorists of all ages, from beginners to experienced.”
“AAA is happy to partner with MVC to be able to help ensure that seniors drive safer and longer. This partnership will help highlight the products and programs that both entities have to assist older drivers in making choices that keep themselves safe behind the wheel,” added AAA spokeswoman Cathleen Lewis.
To book the MVC’s Wisdom Behind the Wheel program, community and senior groups are encouraged to contact the MVC Speaker’s Bureau at 1-609-984-3605 or via email at MVC.Speakers@dot.state.nj.us.
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