Local News

Wake Program Helps Seniors To Get Around

Posted December 9, 2003 4:46 a.m. EST

— A program in Wake County is helping seniors get around without putting them behind the wheel.

Wake County's Coordinated Transportation Service is a blessing to those who depend on it. About 700 senior citizens get free rides everyday to important things like doctor's appointments and lunch.

Officials say one important goal of the program is to get seniors off the road who could be a danger to themselves and others.

"More and more people are getting to the age where they really shouldn't be on the road and our service gives them an opportunity to get out and perhaps, it helps them to let go of those keys," said Don Willis, of Wake County Human Services.

Many seniors in the program said giving up the keys to their cars was the right thing to do.

"I had two wrecks in less than two years and I said I better hang it up," said 85-year-old Annie Stokes. "It was my right eye. I wasn't seeing out of it as good as I ought to out of my right eye."

"The traffic was too much for me and I don't think that fast, and so I just give it up," said 77-year-old Amanda Jones. "I said I didn't want to hurt anybody else and I didn't want anybody to hurt me."

According to recent statistics, drivers 70 years of age and older have the second highest fatality rate per driven mile behind only teenage drivers. A study from October found drivers older than 80 are two times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers between 21 and 60 years of age.