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Give Grandma the Gift of Driving Lessons

Experienced drivers need a tune up every once in a while.

Earlier this year I visited my grandparents in west Marin County.

First thing in the morning, my grandpa and I took our dogs down to a secluded walking trail. When we got back to the car an hour later, the parking area was congested and in his multiple-point maneuver to get out, my grandpa rammed right into the front of a new Honda CR-V.

"That's what bumpers are for," he said, and we drove away. Oy, as he would say. 

Before noon that day I went into Point Reyes with my grandma to pick up some lunch at the farmers market. IRONY ALERT: My grandma's repertoire of childhood stories includes a parallel parking lesson from her father that she says has sparked a lifetime of impeccable parallel parking. Her record was forever tarnished that day as we parked at the market and she bashed into an old yellow sedan. 

"That's what bumpers are for," she said. I was starting to detect a pattern. 

I thought of them this morning when I got an email from Gilroy CHP Officer Erica Elias, announcing a driving class for "mature drivers." If only they lived in Gilroy. Hopefully your grandparents/parents/older friends do and you can steer them in the direction of this class. 

The Age Well Drive Smart program is aimed at older drivers with a mission to "reduce motor vehicle collision and pedestrian deaths and injuries... and to increase seniors' alternate transportation options when driving is no longer an option," Elias said. 

The class will be held Jan. 17 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Centennial Recreation Center at 171 W. Edmundson Ave. in Morgan Hill. The free event will cover myths about older drivers, rules of the road, safe driving tips, notes on adjusting your driving for your age, and more. 

There will also be free food, so if you're not convinced yet, you might as well get a snack anyway.

To register, call the Centennial Recreation Senior Center at 408-782-1284. The class is open to the first 45 registrants. 

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