AARP New Mexico will be advocating for a change in legislation that will bring the Driver Safety classes currently operating in the state into alignment with national guidelines.
In 2006, the New Mexico Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Bureau approved the classes, both in the classroom and online, as an approved accident prevention course, for individuals age 55 or older. The approval was based on state statute adopted in 1987. Individuals who complete the course are eligible for a discount on their auto insurance.
“Some time ago, AARP lowered its Drive Safety class eligibility from age 55 to 50,” said Gene Varela, AARP New Mexico State Director. “We want to change the state statue to reflect that change so that New Mexico residents age 50 and above can take advantage of the course and receive an insurance discount.”
“AARP’s research shows that with some training people can adapt to driving as they age and refresh their skills to be safer and feel more confident on the road. This has been a beneficial resource for people – both AARP members and the general public,” Varela said.
“By changing the legislation we can give more people the opportunity to take advantage of this program and thereby make our roads safer,” he said.
The legislation will be sponsored by newly elected Rep. Tomas Salazar, D-Las Vegas.
“We are also asking people that support Driver Safety to call the legislative switchboard at 505-946-4300 and indicate their support for this bill,” Varela said.
For more information on the legislation visit www.aarp.org/nm
Photo caption: Heavy rush-hour traffic backs up on US550 near Bernalillo, NM. AARP's Driver Safety Course helps drivers over age 50 navigate traffic as they age.