Many think of driver's education classes as exclusively the province of young people who are just learning the rules of the road. Yet one doesn't have to still be a high school student to review the skills and principles of traffic safety.
There are a plethora of driver's education classes available for seniors around the Williamsport region. Those who complete one or several of these courses may earn a discount on their automobile insurance.
The AARP provides many of the "refresher" courses, which come in four- or eight-hour lengths. The longer courses are for those who have not yet completed the program; the four-hour sessions are available to those who have already taken the class once.
Steinbacher & Stahl, an elder needs law firm at 413 Washington Ave., is one area location that offers the classes.
Lori George, director of the Resource Center at Steinbacher & Stahl, said that the AARP classes offered thrice-yearly at the firm use a variety of presentation methods to make their points.
"The AARP instructors are very talented, and they use live presentations, videos, a lot of group interaction throughout the sessions. There's a workbook and a manual provided, and they review rules and new regulations that impact driver safety."
The sessions are more than just a lecture, George said, because participants have so much experience driving area roads.
"People in the class always have lots of time they've been driving, so it becomes a place where people exchange information, too: where different stretches of highway are unsafe, for example - that's not the focus of the class, but the class structure allows people to share personal experiences."
The class fees for AARP members are $12, and non-members pay $14.
"They're always offering discounts for people who provide services," George said. "This month, educators only pay $5, and I believe in November veterans will get a discount."
George said that participants in the classes should check with their insurance companies for specific discounts offered upon completion of the program.
Under Pennsylvania law, drivers completing the eight-hour class receive a 5 percent discount on their insurance; the four-hour refresher course must be taken every three years to maintain the discount.
The Susquehanna Health LifeCenter at the Lycoming Mall is another location that sometimes offers AARP refresher courses, along with Evangelical Hospital (Lewisburg); Clinton County Community Center (Lock Haven); the Loyalsock State Forest building (Laporte); Liberty Lutheran Church; and the Bradford County Library (Troy).
Interested seniors can call these locations or search "AARP driver safety program" to find more information or register for the classes.
Anyone concerned about someone's driving or who wants some safe driving tips can go to the Community Traffic Safety Project, 542 County Farm Road, Suite 207, Montoursville.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all literature is free.
As a friendly reminder, PennDOT suggests that aging drivers limit driving at night, during rush hour, in bad weather and while on medication.
Regular eye exams also are recommended to keep vision sharp.