Course re-energizes older drivers’ skills

REDWOOD CITY — Annabelle Emery may have put winding road trips along the California coast behind her, but even in her 80s, drives to doctors’ appointmentsand to pick up groceries are still necessities.

Her ability to fight traffic, however, isn’t all it used to be. That’s why she is thankful she and her husband are among 400 seniors to complete a free, refresher course for older drivers being offered in the county, Emery said. Completing the three-and-a-half hour course last week gave her a shot of confidence, Emery said.

“We found it to be a very interesting class because we’re getting older and we need to keep up with all the rules of driving,” said Emery, a San Mateo resident.

The program has proven so successful on the Peninsula, graduating 10 full classes of 40 to 50 seniors since the end of August, the Highway Patrol is considering expanding it to other parts of the state, Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said. “We’ve produced 400 older drivers who are at least more aware of certain age-related challenges when behind the wheel and know how to compensate,” Tissier said.

Richard Richardson, 83 of Redwood City, also praised the class, organized by Tissier to improve older driver safety and allow them to keep driving for longer periods of time. “I wanted to make sure I’m doing the right thing to continue driving,” Richardson said of his decision to sign up.

In addition to proper driving techniques, Highway Patrol volunteers delve into health issues that could help seniors stay alert and in good driving condition, as well as warn them against combining medication with driving.

“This class isn’t meant to discourage people from driving, but by taking the class they might be able to recognize their limitations and taken them into account,” Tissier said.

Tissier began promoting the classes after learning that seniors 60 and older will comprise 19 percent of the Peninsula population, according to state estimates. By 2030 that number is expected to grow to 29 percent. “Even if we helped just 10 percent of our attendees avoid accidents, that’s at least 40 collisions and 40 potential injuries prevented,” Tissier said.

Two more courses are scheduled in Burlingame and Pacifica prior to Christmas, with a third tentatively scheduled for Redwood City in January. For more information contact Bill Chiang (650) 363-4042.

ecarpenter@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto in a meeting with the Examiner editorial board on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New shelter-in-place order gives tenants a temporary reprieve from eviction

Sheriff’s Department resumed regular enforcement this week for the first time since March

Under stay-at-home orders effective today in San Francisco, outdoor dining is not allowed, and there are new limits regarding the number of people that can be indoors at essential businesses. <ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area counties to shut down outdoor dining, non-essential businesses

Regional stay-at-home order to take effect Sunday, sooner than statewide order announced Thursday

Former Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant received his 2017-18 Championship ring at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Oct. 16, 2018. Durant, now playing with the Brooklyn Nets, will play against his former team at Chase Center in February. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Kevin Durant to face former teammates at Chase Center in February

Schedule released Friday calls for Warriors to play Christmas and New Year’s Day games

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s (31) return from injury last week was key for the team’s offense. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
49ers fighting for final NFC wild-card spot in Monday’s game against the Bills

Bills at 49ers When: Monday, 5:15 p.m. Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale,… Continue reading

The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)
Billy Corgan continues to confound expectations

Smashing Pumpkins release retro-sounding ‘CYR’

Most Read