Transportation planners and engineers have yet to begin addressing the needs of older Americans in their street planning.
The Coalition for Older Roadway User Safety (CORUS) strongly endorses H.R. 1776, the Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety and Roadway Enhancement Act of 2011 introduced yesterday by Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.). CORUS, which is comprised of AARP, American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), American Highway Users Alliance, Easter Seals, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), and Transportation for America, is the nation's only national coalition focused on older driver and pedestrian safety.
"Given the prediction that by 2025, one in four drivers will be 65 or older, we need to make sure we are taking older drivers' needs into account in our transportation planning," Congressman Altmire said. "By using existing federal funds to make roadway hazards more visible and signs easier to read, we can make our roads safer for drivers of all ages."
A recent report from AARP's Public Policy Institute found that two-thirds of transportation planners and engineers have yet to begin addressing the needs of older Americans in their street planning; yet by 2025, one in four American drivers will be 65 years or older.
"ATSSA is proud to endorse the Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety and Roadway Enhancement Act. Rep. Altmire's leadership in protecting America's older drivers and pedestrians will certainly help to make roads safer and save lives," ATSSA President and CEO Roger A. Wentz stated.
AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond also applauds Congressman Altmire on the bill introduction. "We commend Rep. Altmire for recognizing that in a time of high gas prices and tight family budgets, investments in transportation need to put people and safety first," said LeaMond. "Making roads safer for older drivers and pedestrians will make roads safer for everyone. Investing in proven, low-cost roadway improvements that help keep older drivers safe will, for example, keep teen drivers and their passengers safer, too."
The Older Driver and Pedestrian Safety and Roadway Enhancement Act invests $500 million annually for low-cost roadway safety infrastructure improvements and safety upgrades for roadway signs and pavement markings to accommodate the needs of an increasingly older population.
CORUS, which was formed in 2009, brings together industry, consumers, advocacy groups, and the disabled community to work together to make a difference for older drivers and pedestrians.