Older adults want to drive safely and are not opposed to fair and unbiased evaluations. The majority of older drivers are not problem drivers; they are merely people who need basic transportation. Older adults trust police officers, and officers can help an aging driver steer clear of harm’s way on the road by:
- Providing a referral to a local assistance agency that coaches and counsels older citizens on safe vehicle operation, or makes recommendations for other mobility options;
- Encouraging self-assessment;
- Offering driver refresher courses;
- Citing drivers who violate traffic laws; and
- Making referrals to the licensing agency.
Interventions with the family, partner, or friends:
- Acting as a trusted authority in evaluating driving safety;
- Supporting legal efforts to appropriately restrict or remove driving privileges; and
- Seeking information and assistance on the health and mobility situation of the older driver from loved ones.
Interventions with other community agencies:
- Offering the assistance of the law enforcement community in conducting safety programs.
Resources on the national level to provide information to assist aging drivers are available in the NHTSA publication Cues For Law Enforcement.
More information on how aging affects the aging driver's abilities can be found on our Driving Skills page.
NHTSA's training course for law enforcement officers includes information on the aging process, how to conduct a traffic stop with an older driver, making referrals, and conducting an older driver community relations problem. The training can be scheduled by contacting the NHTSA's regional office.
Walkinginfo.org has information about enforcement and training of bicycle and pedestrian laws.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Alzheimer's Initiatives Program training for law enforcement personnel teaches how to respond to individuals with Alzheimer's Disease in various situations. You can download the videos for free here.
- The Florida Law Enforcement Liaison (LEL) Program is a grant funded program sponsored by FDOT and NHTSA with the goal of reducing traffic related fatalities and injuries by working with law enforcement agencies across the state to boost safety belt use, reduce drunk driving and encourage traffic safety initiatives. Read more at http://www.floridalel.org/ .