Once a year Downers Grove Township and AARP host an eight-hour class on driving and vehicle safety, targeting drivers over 50 years of age (although any age can attend). Upon class completion, students receive a certificate for an insurance discount (discounts may vary, but are mandated under state law).

The Smart Driver Class is also offered at neighboring park districts throughout the year, as 2-day/4-hour classes. The Township tries to provide a viable alternative, for those in the work force, who cannot attend during the week or over two days.

Our Saturday class was filled to capacity with students’ eager for the discount, but happily surprised at the expanded knowledge on rules of the road, statistics on senior driving and how to fit themselves properly into their cars (i.e. seat height/angle, distance from air bags etc.)

Many thanks to George Goodwin and Steve Merkel, the dedicated AARP volunteer teachers, who made, what could be a dry subject, not only vitally informative and timely, but entertaining as well! They know the laws and they know their subject.

Senior drivers need to be honest with themselves. Over the years, reaction time (and perhaps frustration level) shortens; vision and hearing can be impaired and physical disabilities may interfere. Understanding the rules of the road, their physical limitations and surrounding environment will help seniors drive safely longer.

George and Steve aptly stated, “…we all need to be ambassadors for safety”
For more information on classes, contact George Goodwin: driversafetygeorge@sbcglobal.net

Cathy Rager
Senior Services Coordinator
Downers Grove Township
Phone: 630-719-6670
Email: cathy.rager@dgtownship.com (Township Liaison for FFDGTS)

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