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‘Get Off The Road, Grampa!': Insurance Commish Urges ‘The Talk’

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The state’s top insurance executive says more Californians should speak up if they think it’s no longer safe for an elderly family member or friend to drive.

KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports California Insurance commissioner Dave Jones it’s as important to be both respectful and direct when having “the talk”.

“You have to understand these are adults — by law, they are allowed to make decisions up until a point when they’re no longer capable of doing so,” said Jones.

The number of drivers in California aged 65 and older is expected to double over the next decade, while drivers older than 85 are just above teens involved in the number of fatal crashes.

Not only is there a public safety benefit to monitoring the number of seniors behind the wheel, but a financial one as well: state law entitles drivers 55 years of age and older to a discount on their auto insurance upon proof of completing a senior driver improvement course approved by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

But just starting the conversation is perhaps the most difficult step towards providing better driving safety for seniors.

“At the end of the day, we do need to be looking out for one another,” said Jones.

For help finding an approved senior driver improvement course in your area, visit the DMV’s website, or call the toll-free consumer line at (800) 777-0133.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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