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Press Release



September 19, 2003

Cowley offering safe driver class on main campus


Cowley County Community College is offering another of its popular 55 Alive safe driver courses, but few people probably realize that anyone with a valid Kansas driver’s license may take the course.


And, upon successful completion of the eight-hour course, students can present the certificate to their insurance company and the company is mandated to give a discount on vehicle insurance.


Ed Hanna of Wichita, who has been teaching the AARP course for the last 12 years, said anyone with a valid Kansas driver’s license who successfully completes a defensive driving course is eligible for the discount. He said he has known some companies to give as much as a 10-percent discount. And, he said, the certificate is good for three years.


Cowley’s 55 Alive class will be held from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9 in the Earle N. Wright Community Room inside the Brown Center on Cowley’s main campus. The cost is $10 to cover course handouts. The class is held in conjunction with Cowley’s Institute of Lifetime Learning, a program for men and women age 50 and over.


The same course will be taught at the Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington, from 1-5 p.m. Nov. 12 and 13.


Hanna trained volunteers who taught this course for six years, so he is very knowledgeable about the topics covered.


“Our functions start to deteriorate as we get older,” he said. “At age 50, we have 50 percent less light coming into our eyes, which makes it harder to drive at night.”


Among other topics Hanna will cover: Making proper left turns, yielding the right-of-way, following safe distances, hydroplaning, winter driving, skidding, the right turn lane, and Kansas laws.


“Many people don’t know this, but if you are on a one-way street, and you come to another one-way street, you can make a left turn on a red light after stopping,” Hanna said. “If the intersection is clear, you can make a left turn from a one-way street onto another one-way street.”


Hanna likes to refer to the class as “self improvement.”


“The number one accident among older people is failure to yield the right-of-way,” he said. “That is 35 percent of all accidents. Improper left turns is another big cause of accidents.”


Persons who enroll in the course will be given a manual and a copy of the Kansas Driver’s Handbook.


Hanna has taught more than 350 of the classes in 10 years.


Persons interested in enrolling should call Margaret Neal at (620) 441-5286 between 8:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Thursday.