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Press Release



April 1, 2005

Cowley offering safe driver class in Winfield, Arkansas City


A popular safe driving course through the Institute of Lifetime Learning at Cowley College will be offered in both Winfield and Arkansas City.

The AARP 55 Alive Driver Safety Program is being offered April 14 and 15 in Winfield, and April 27 and 28 in Arkansas City.

Anyone with a valid Kansas driver’s license may take the course. 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 13 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. April 14 and 15 at Cowley College’s Winfield Center, 1406 E. Eighth St. The sessions in Arkansas City will be held April 27 and 28 in Room 115 of the Kerr Technology Building. Registration deadline is April 11. Persons interested in enrolling should call Margaret Neal at (620) 441-5286 between 8:30 a.m. and noon Monday through Thursday.

The cost is $10 to cover course handouts.

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, age-related changes that affect hearing, the impact of medications when driving, 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.