Trooper's actions spark discussion on elderly drivers

5:04 PM, Oct 10, 2012   |    comments
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WESTBROOK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - It was dramatic video played across the state.

A desperate state trooper trying to beat the clock and head off a confused elderly driver going the wrong way on a busy highway. In the end it was a perfect ending to what could have been a major tragedy.

After the story broke and the video aired, the phones started ringing at the Independent Transportation Network. It's an agency that provides low cost rides to seniors who give up their car keys.

"Our phone lights up, as well as the e-mails. So the conversations are beginning or those that are on the edge are signing up and begin sending in their applications", said Bob Dunfey, ITN Executive Director.

The lack of alternate transportation is cited as one the biggest reasons seniors are reluctant to give up driving. ITN is the only program of its kind in the state and it operates only within a 15-mile radius of Portland.

To get better a handle on steps we can take as a state to address alternate transportation and other issues surrounding senior drivers, Triple A and the Secretary of State will be hosting a daylong Senior Driving Summit next month.

Experts from around the country will discuss steps that they have had success with.

"It's going to serve as a resource to professionals, policy makers, law enforcement, doctors who are interested in this challenge as this baby boomer bubble continues to work its way through", said AAA's Pat Moody.

Triple A offers many resources on its website for seniors and their families on the topic of elderly drivers.  










































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