Senior Driver Ombudsman Program California DMV: Driving Change Driver Safety Branch Chief, Rhonda Craft
When you’re a Senior. . Swimming isn’t the only form of transportation you can maintain!
Ombudsman Program Created n In recent years the state of California has seen a marked increase in its Senior driving population due to longer life expectancies and the onset of the “Baby Boomer” generation reaching senior years. In response to this increasing demographic, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) created the Senior Driver Ombudsmen Program.
“Senior Tsunami” n n n DMV took a proactive approach to the “Senior Tsunami”, the widely used term to describe one of the fastest growing population demographics in America today. The Senior Driver Ombudsman Program was formed. California is the only state in the nation that has a full-time Senior Driver Ombudsman program.
Ombudsmen And Their Role n n The five Ombudsmen, located throughout the state, play an active part in the continuing effort to ensure Senior drivers are able to continue driving as long as they can do so safely, while representing the interest of traffic safety for all Californians. They are available to assist in individual cases, as well as participate in outreach seminars and public education.
Senior Drivers n n Research conducted by the California DMV has shown the Senior driver population to be safe, mature, responsible drivers. There is no upper age limit attached to the driving privilege in California. Pursuant to § 12814(a) CVC, “The age of a licensee, by itself, may not constitute evidence of a condition requiring an examination of the driving ability.
Transportation Needs n In addition to helping Seniors navigate the DMV system, the Ombudsmen assist Seniors by directing them to organizations which provide alternate transportaion options.
Aging Population n Today, California is home to more than 4. 5 million individuals aged 65 and older comprising 11% of the states driving population. The number of drivers aged 65 and over is expected to increase to 15 million in the next 20 years amounting to 20% of the population.
Age Related Complications n n n Seniors face a variety of both physical and mental challenges as they age. For Seniors who are able to demonstrate limited safe driving ability, the DMV utilizes several methods to allow continued safe vehicle operation, such as: Special Restricted License Special Instruction Permit License Restrictions (e. g. no freeway driving, sunrise to sunset driving only, specific area restrictions)
Self Restriction n n Research has shown that many Seniors voluntarily self restrict their driving when they no longer feel safe in certain driving situations. Many Seniors choose to stop driving at night, on freeways, during inclement weather or during heavy traffic periods.
Reexamination Process n When a Senior is the subject of a reexamination referral and there are questions about their ability to drive, they usually are required to take a driving test. The stress of taking a test they haven’t performed since they were teenagers can affect their ability to pass.
Ombudsman Assistance n The Ombudsmen assist Seniors through the process and help them know what to expect, which assists in difusing their nervousness, affording a smoother process.
Mobility and Independence n The Department recognizes that mobility is a “Quality of Life” issue which represents independence. For most Seniors, the driving privilege is the key representation of their mobility.
Ombudsman Outreach n n The Ombudsmen are members of more than a dozen state, federal and local working groups, including the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) task force, and other organizations involved with Senior driving, safety and mobility. The Ombudsmen speak to more than a thousand people a month through outreach and group presentations and assist in hundreds of individual cases each month.
Outreach Presentations n Since January 2006, the Ombudsmen have conducted approximately 1270 personal presentations reaching literally tens of thousands of participants.
Outreach Beyond Seniors n Other groups include, but are not limited to: law enforcement officers, medical and health-care providers, transportation agencies, City and County officials and public schools.
Additional Information n For more information on the DMV Senior Ombudsmen, visit the DMV website at www. dmv. ca. gov click on the Senior link under the Home tab, where the Senior Ombudsmen Program choice is found.
Resources for Senior Drivers • DMV Website highlighting the Senior Driver • Senior Driver Self Assessment on the DMV Website • Senior Guide to Safe Driving • California Driver Handbook • Driving Test Criteria • Fast Facts-DMV’s Driving Test • Top 10 Causes of Drive Test Failures • Fast Facts 27 - DMV’s Reexamination Process Your Business Logo here
Resources for Senior Drivers • Fast Facts 26 - Administrative Hearings or Interviews • Fast Facts 28 -Driver Distractions • Fast Facts 10 -Potentially Unsafe Driver • Fast Facts 25 -Identity Theft • DMV Ombudsman Program Your Business Logo here • Posters promoting the Senior Driver Ombudsman Program • Presentations tailored to the senior community • Outreach Posters detailing accident rates for Senior Drivers • Preparing for your Supplemental Driving Performance Evaluation
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