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AARP Release: House approves driver safety class bill


Nashville – Tennessee streets would get safer and consumers would save money under legislation approved unanimously by the Tennessee House of Representatives on Monday night, sending the bill to the governor for his signature into law.

The bill, SB2570/HB3265, would allow Tennesseans over 55 years old to get discounts on auto insurance premiums after completing an online driver safety course approved by the state Safety Commissioner.

“Tennessee currently allows such discounts for seniors who take such courses in a classroom, but this will give busy baby boomers and folks who live in rural parts of the state a convenient way to refresh their skills and save money,’’ said AARP Tennessee Director Rebecca Kelly. “Tennessee drivers should thank Rep. Phillip Johnson, Sen. Mike Faulk, state officials and Barry Breen for their work on this bill.’’

Johnson noted on the House floor that he sponsored the bill at the request of Breen, a constituent and coordinator of Tennessee’s AARP Driver Safety Program who has worked tirelessly to improve the safety of Tennessee roads while helping older drivers keep their car keys until it is time to hang them up.

“I know Barry would want to be here today for this vote, but he is in Florida right now awaiting an organ transplant,’’ Johnson said.

Tennessee would join 10 other states that offer insurance premium discounts for online driver safety courses. Tennessee already is one of 36 states that require insurers to offer a discount for classroom courses such as those taught by AARP-trained volunteers. Each year, some 5,000 to 6,000 Tennessee drivers take the courses.

The discount is determined by the insurance company, but Breen says it averages about 10 percent of the annual policy cost. Even without a discount, driver safety courses are a bargain.

“There is no doubt that these programs reduce crashes, keep drivers safer, and provide for self-recognition of our driving abilities or when it might be time to stop driving,’’ Breen said in a written statement.

About the AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.




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