The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Kokua Line column
Mar 12, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Question: Is there a facility in Honolulu that offers senior citizens driving road test refresher courses
Answer: AARP (formerly American Association of Retired Persons) offers driver safety classes throughout the year.
Last year, more than 1,200 people attended 110 Driver Safety Program courses in Hawaii, said local AARP spokesman Bruce Bottorff.
Courses are offered in a classroom or online, not on the road, bringing drivers up to date on the rules of the road and offering defensive driving techniques. Participants also learn how to deal with age-related changes in vision, hearing and reaction time.
Go to www.aarp.org/driversafety to find a convenient class. Type in your city, state and ZIP code.
If you don't have access to a computer, call toll-free 877-846-3299. If you put in your ZIP code, you will be connected to the contact center for the Driver Safety Program in Hawaii, Bottorff said. A recording will ask you to leave your name, phone number and island of residence; a volunteer will return the call in a few days, he said.
On Oahu, classes are held at Kaiser Permanente clinics, Kawaiaha'o Church, Lanakila Senior Center, the Queen's Medical Center and Windward Community College.
For the remainder of March, four-hour classes will be held beginning at 9 a.m. March 21 at Kaiser Hawaii Kai (call 628-9438 to register), 9 a.m. March 22 at Lanakila (847-1322) and noon March 28 at Kaiser Honolulu (955-2055).
The classes are run by trained volunteers, Bottorff said.
The cost is $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers, which covers the cost of materials. Fees are higher for the online course.
"As Hawaii's population ages and more older drivers are on our roads, the demand for driver safety refresher courses is expected to grow," Bottorff said.
According to 2010 data from the Federal Highway Administration, there are more than 390,000 drivers in Hawaii age 50 or older.
AARP also regularly offers free 20-minute "CarFit" events, aimed at older drivers, where a trained volunteer or occupational therapist will check to see whether you've adjusted your car properly to fit your body, Bottorff said.
The next CarFit event on Oahu will be from 7 a.m. to noon April 6 at Kaimuki High School. To register, call toll-free 877-926-8300 or see aarp.cvent.com/carfit.
Question: There seems to be an increased practice among some residents on Pahemo Street in Aiea to place traffic cones, barriers, buckets, etc. to reserve curbside parking. With the increase of multigenerational homes on this street, parking is at a premium. Isn't parking on a public street first-come, first-served basis
Answer: It is against the law to place cones or other objects on a public street to save or reserve parking spaces, the Honolulu Police Department warns.
An officer recently checked the street and spoke to a resident, who removed the cones fronting his home, said police Maj. Clayton Saito, commander of District 3.
No one was home at a second residence, but the officer removed the cones in front of that home.
Officers will continue to make periodic checks, Saito said.
To a kind stranger. At about 4:15 p.m. Feb. 17, I was at checkout at Waipio Foodland but couldn't find my debit card. I finally got out my checkbook, but the clerk told me that my bill had been paid by the lady behind me. That was the kindest thing that has happened to me. I've been under a lot of stress caring for my husband, who has Alzheimer's, and dealing with a bad knee, so she'll never know how much her kindness meant. Bless her. I have been passing her kindness on. -- Diane
Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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