The AARP Driver Safety Program is the nation's first and largest refresher course for drivers age 50 and older that has helped millions of drivers remain safe on today's roads. AARP has offered the course in the classroom for 25 years and now offers the same course online. It is designed to help you:

Tune up your driving skills and update your knowledge of the rules of the road.

Learn about normal age-related physical changes, and how to adjust your driving to allow for these changes.

Reduce your traffic violations, crashes and chances for injuries.

Drive more safely.

Get an insurance discount. Auto insurance companies in most states provide a multi-year discount to AARP graduates.

When taking the course you can expect to learn about current rules of the road, how to operate your vehicle more safely in today's increasingly challenging driving environment and some adjustments to common age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time. You will learn about:

Maintaining proper following distance at all times.

The safest way to change lanes and make turns at intersections.

The effects of medications on driving.

Minimizing the effect of dangerous blind spots.

Limiting driver distractions such as eating, smoking and cell phone use.

Properly using safety belts, air bags and anti-lock brakes.

Maintaining physical flexibility.

Continuing to monitor your own and others' driving skills and capabilities.

After completing the course, you'll develop a greater appreciation of driving challenges and how you can avoid potential collisions and injuries to yourself and others.

Though geared for drivers age 50 and older, the course is open to people of any age. AARP membership is not required to take the course and there is no final test to pass. As I stated earlier, there are two ways to take this drivers' safety course: in the classroom or online.

The Senior Center offers the course twice a year. In the classroom, the course is taught by AARP-trained volunteers, the course is eight hours and you need to pre-register. The course fee is $12 for AARP members (you must bring your card) and $14 for nonmembers. The next class is scheduled for Sept. 8 at the Senior Center, 907 N. 10th St. Brenda Meyers will teach the course from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. To sign up, call 272-3620 or come by the Senior Center.

For information about the online course go to The online course offers:

Same valuable information and strategies for safe driving.

Self-paced and interactive.

Round-the-clock customer support available by phone and e-mail while you take the course.

30-day time frame in which to complete the course.

Simple online registration.

Convenient and secure payment transaction via credit card.

Certificate mailed directly to your home when you complete the course.

The course fee is $15.95 for AARP members and $19.95 for non-members.

I do recommend that you check with your insurance carrier before taking the class online. In some states separate rules may apply to online driver improvement courses.

Scheduled activities

Thursday: TOPS will meet at 8:30 a.m. Art class will meet at 10 a.m. Ambassador Singers will practice at 1 p.m. Low Vision Support Group will meet at 3 p.m. for "The Aging Brain-Memory as a Substitute for Vision," a program sponsored by Fry Eye Associates and the Senior Center.

Friday: The walking group will meet at Wildlife Park at 8:30 a.m. to walk. St. Catherine Hospital will offer a health services nurse to do screenings beginning at 10:30 a.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m.

Saturday: The pool room will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Fiddlers, Pickers & Singers will meet from 4 to 11 p.m.

Sunday: No activities are scheduled.

Monday: Walking group will meet at Stevens Park at 8:30 a.m. Humdinger Band will meet at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle is played at 12:45 p.m. Bridge is played at 1 p.m. Upbeats will practice at 3 p.m. Duplicate bridge is played at 7 p.m.

Tuesday: Pitch is played at 12:45 p.m. Duplicate bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Bridge is played at 7 p.m.

Sept. 2: Line dancing is at 8:30 a.m. (call 272-3620 for more information about this or any exercise program). Pinochle is played at 12:45 p.m. The Sewing Group meets from 1 to 4 p.m. The Senior Citizens Association will host a dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The band playing is "Last Resort." Bring cookies for the break.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Turkey and gravy, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cookie, whole wheat roll.

Friday: Meat loaf, creamed peas, copper penny salad, melon mix, whole wheat roll.

Monday: Huntington chicken, corn, Italian veggies, pineapple, whole wheat roll.

Tuesday: Barbecue ribette, tri-taters, confetti cottage cheese, sunshine gelatin salad, cinnamon roll.

Sept. 2: Ham and beans or beef stew, coleslaw, tomato slices, corn bread, brownie.

Visit the Senior Center Web site at