Click here to see MVA press release on this event.
Motor Vehicle Administration and the MODSS Steering Committee hosted the 2013 Maryland Older Driver Safety Symposium on April 24th and April 25th. This educational event focused on older driver safety and on bringing the latest research and best practices that are taking place everywhere and putting them into effective programs right here in Maryland. Specifically, the target audience was professionals in the areas of healthcare, community services and law enforcement. This Symposium built on the information presented in 2012 and continued the focus on promoting a culture of Safe Mobility for Life.
Maryland has a new challenge for safety on the roadways with the increasing number of older drivers – because with aging, come effects on health and driving skills. The issue is not about being older, but about the age-related conditions that effect driving skills. While crashes for older drivers are not a big percentage of overall rates, preparations are necessary in our programs and processes to handle the growth in population and licensed drivers – and avoid a sudden increase in crash rates.
The Symposium provided an opportunity on the first day to Maryland leadership involved in management of programs and creation of policies relating to roadway safety for older drivers. Recent research and best practice information was presented by a prestigious keynote speaker and three panels of speakers who are recognized leaders or experts. This valuable information was enhanced by participant interaction and engaging discussion of each topic's relevance to Maryland. Also, exhibits showcased local resources and programs, and attendees formed new partnerships with a better understanding of roles of other agencies, organizations & professionals that provide services for older drivers.
On the second day, there were three separate workshops that provided opportunities for frank discussions of practical issues amongst each profession and for learning specific tools and resources from leaders in the field to help professionals identify functional and cognitive decline. Each workshop addressed MVA's process of medical referrals and evaluation for fitness to drive, and also the appropriate role of professionals in this process. In addition, four separate professional organizations worked with MVA to provide continuing education credits for law enforcement, social workers, occupational therapists and physicians.
Thanks to the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission for help in planning and implementing the Workshop for Law Enforcement: Aging Factors & Enforcement Traffic Stops – When to Ticket, When to do RRE, and for providing in-service credit to qualified attendees of this workshop.
Thanks to the joint sponsorship of MedChi and The Maryland State Medical Society for help in planning and implementing the Workshop for Clinicians: Alzheimer's/Other Dementias and Medical Fitness to Drive and providing continuing medical education credits for qualified physicians; and thanks to the Maryland Board of Occupational Therapy Practice for providing continuing education credits for qualified occupational therapists who attended this workshop.
Thanks to The Maryland Gerontological Association for help in planning and implementing the Community Services Workshop: Effects of Aging on Health, Driving & Personal Mobility, and for providing continuing education credits for qualified social workers as an approved provider of social work continuing education by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners.
And now, with the practical objectives, tools and resources provided by the 2013 Symposium, the hope is that these organizations and agencies represented are equipped to embrace the focus of Safe Mobility for Life and use this information to enhance their respective programs, policies and professional products.
Copyright 2013 Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration