Archive for November, 2010

National Transportation Safety Board Hearings

November 17, 2010

Barbara Hersman, Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board, just held two days of hearings on the safety of older drivers in Washington, DC. The NTSB is guiding the public’s attention to the safety needs of older people and their families.

A few years ago, when Ms. Hersman was first looking into this issue, we had an appointment to meet in Washington to talk about the connection between driving and the alternatives older people face when they make the decision to move to the passenger seat. The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent federal agency that looks into all manner of transportation safety, and sure enough, there literally was a train wreck the day of our meeting. Ms. Hersman was called away and we never did reschedule.

Maybe, if that meeting had taken place, transportation alternatives might have made it onto the agenda for the two days of hearings, which not only explored the safety issues related to the aging driver but possible strategies to prevent and reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Some of the experts, notably Sandi Rosenbloom, explained that a lack of alternatives forces people to stay behind the wheel longer than it is safe for them to do so. Sandi is a brilliant transportation analyst whose work many years ago influenced the thinking that went into the development of the Independent Transportation Network®.

We will need more than references to the need for alternatives to focus the nation’s attention on mobility, as well as safety, for the aging population. The hearings in Washington are a good starting place. They bring the safety issue into the light of day, and place it high on the national agenda. Now we need something similar for the other half of the equation—mobility.

ITNAmerica Joins Liberty Mutual’s National Conversation Drive in New York’s Grand Central Station

November 4, 2010

I am on my way to Grand Central Station, New York City. After months of not being able to write my blog – blogger’s block maybe – I am writing in the back seat of a yellow cab, on my way to Liberty Mutual’s National Conversation Drive in Grand Central Station. After 20 years of talking with adult children who are worried about their parents’ driving but don’t know how to begin the conversation, I am grateful and awestruck that Liberty Mutual is holding a major event in New York City today to help people begin this conversation on a national scale. I know that when we help families with this sensitive issue we are saving lives, but to see it, to be here, is one of those BIG days in life you never forget.

If you or someone you love is worried about senior driving, or you just want to learn more, please visit Liberty Mutual’s National Conversation Drive and take the pledge to have a conversation. For every conversation, Liberty Mutual will donate $10 to ITNAmerica, directly supporting rides for seniors across the country.

To learn more about senior transportation and how to start an ITN affiliate in your community, contact us and we will do our best to help you, through our new webinar series, or a one-to-one conversation.