2015 was a banner year for the volunteer led and operated AARP Driver Safety Program in NJ! AARP New Jersey wants to thank the over 100 volunteer instructors who taught more than 600 classes across the garden state last year, positively impacting the lives of over 9,000 program participants!
The Driver Safety Course is intended to help drivers live more independently as they age and remain safe on today’s roads. Since the program’s inception in 1979, more than 14 million participants have completed the course. An additional component of the Driver Safety Program available in NJ is CarFit: a free educational program created by the American Society on Aging, and developed in collaboration with AAA, AARP, and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). The goals of the CarFit Program are to help older drivers improve the “fit” of their vehicles for maximum safety and comfort; promote conversations among older adults and families about driver safety and the continued need for mobility options to keep people involved in their communities; and link adults with relevant, local resources that can help ensure they drive safely longer.
In NJ, the AARP Smart Driver classroom course lasts six hours. The course can be conducted in one or two days. Weekend and Spanish courses are available at some locations as well. In NJ course participants are usually eligible to receive a state-mandated, multi-year discount of up to 10% on their auto insurance premiums plus a 2 point reduction on their licenses (if applicable). Participants should contact their insurance company or agent for more details. The Classroom Course is $15 for AARP members $20 for non-members. The On-Line Course is $19.95 for AARP members $24.95 for non-members at: www.aarp.org/drive. The CarFit program is free.
Those who volunteer in the program work to recruit host sites, where they then instruct the AARP Smart Driver Courses. Across the country, Driver Safety has approximately 18,000 host sites, including libraries, churches, senior centers, hospitals, and recreational facilities. Volunteers in the program go through a comprehensive training and orientation process prior to teaching their first class ensuring they are successfully armed with the tools, support and knowledge needed. The Driver Safety program in NJ is always looking for passionate and driven volunteer instructors, as well as venues that can host the classes and CarFit Program. Please contact Irwin Horowitz, the NJ Deputy State Coordinator for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or: 973-476-1704.