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Traffic safety initiative detailed
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Forsyth County News


The state Office of Highway Safety has asked the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission Council for help with a program to educate senior citizens on safe driving.

Harris Blackwood, director of the office, addressed the group during a meeting Thursday night at the Cumming Playhouse.

Blackwood noted that the area has the largest population of retirees in the state and it’s growing.

He said the community-based pilot program, known as CarFit, has been successful in Florida, where it was launched, and is not a driver’s training initiative.

“This is about making sure people are as safe as they can be behind the wheel,” he said.

The program, which Georgia plans to roll out later this year, will educate older motorists on various aspects of driving, including seat adjustment and proper seat belt use.

It will also address how to feel the difference between the brake and gas pedals.

Blackwood, a former employee and longtime columnist of the Forsyth County News, said that by 2030 there will be 63 million licensed drivers, or one in every four, age 65 or older.

He asked the group for help and said the program needs volunteers and locations such as parking lots that can be used for the sessions.

He also said the project is a great undertaking for civic clubs, senior centers or church groups.

“We’re going to try to start this in the spring and our goal is to get as many people as we can this year through this program,” said Blackwood, adding that he hopes it continues for two years.

He said the program has received a grant from the commission and hopes the group will help identify retirement communities, churches with large senior populations and other outlets that could use it.