Starting in 2030, when all boomers will be older than 65, older Americans will make up 21 percent of the population, up from 15 percent today. As a law enforcement officer, you’re on the front lines of finding at-risk older drivers on the road. We want to equip you with the resources needed to show older drivers’ kindness and compassion while keeping the roads safe.
This Law Enforcement Driver Guide gives officers easy access to tools to support them to assist older drivers in their community. It provides practical and proven resources that have shown success. The information provided is relevant and contextual. The law enforcement community can play an integral part in collaborating with community organizations and government agencies by providing training, information programs and material, and self-assessment techniques for older drivers. Educational materials should be placed on display in building lobbies and printed and distributed at community safety events.
Family members will reach out to law enforcement for support on how to convince loved ones that it’s not safe for them to drive anymore, and to learn what alternative means of transportation are available in their community when they can’t provide rides to specific events. Law enforcement officers can act as a community referral source for elderly citizens. Officers should be trained to answer specific state questions about the licensing procedures and help families explore transportation alternatives for seniors in their community who are no longer able to drive safely.
Law enforcement agencies should consider establishing policies or plans that address traffic citations and referrals when involving older drivers in the community. Creating a pattern of documenting behavior with enforcement action can help establish a pattern that can provide indicators that a driver may need evaluation. Similarly, referring drivers for re-examination is another important law enforcement option, all while remaining sensitive to the effects of aging on drivers as you make sure that they are also keeping their communities safe.