Help Senior Drivers

Volunteer to help senior drivers
(You will be one someday.)

January 15, 2010

Dear AONE Members,

My name is Frank Rapisardi from Hampton, NH. Some of you may recognize my name from the old days in AONE. I'm writing to you to ask for the club's help.

I am presently involved with a collaborative of social agencies known as Seniors Count, here in Southern NH, who deal with at-risk seniors. I have identified a senior group in need of help and initiated a program to help these at-risk senior drivers, especially those who are economically challenged. These senior drivers either can not afford to attend AARP Driver Safety programs, which teach a refresher course utilizing age-appropriate driving strategies, or the AAA Car-Fit program, which provides checkups on safe senior driving positions for fear of losing their licenses or having their unsafe vehicles confiscated. I am involved in both of these programs as a volunteer and they have made a significant difference in the safety of senior drivers.

I have appealed to Seniors Count for scholarship money for them as well as help setting up an AAA Car-Fit program, which I'll explain in a moment. It's here where I need your club members' help. In the state of New Hampshire, we only have 3 AAA Car-Fit technicians, including myself. This program holds free events where seniors drive in and we do a 12-point check, along with an occupational therapist, on their driving position and use of vehicle controls. The checkup takes approximately 30 minutes and we offer suggestions for improvement in areas such as position to their pedals, proximity to the driver's airbag, ability to see over the dash, proper adjustment of their mirrors, seatbelts, etc. This is an extremely beneficial program for senior drivers, especially those at risk.

Through Seniors Count, I am getting the word out that these seniors can attend without fear of failing a test and the possible removal of their license or car. But we need more Car-Fit technicians to be successful.

I'm asking AONE members from the Seacoast area of NH, the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, or southern Maine if you would be interested in giving something back to the community by volunteering to be trained as a Car-Fit technician and volunteer a few hours a year to help these needy seniors. The training would take 2-3 hours, and it's easy and free. This program offered by AAA can be seen at I would be doing the training here in the Portsmouth, NH, area at one of the agencies, e.g. Portsmouth Hospital, a senior center, etc. It would be an hour or so in a meeting room, and then 1-2 hours out in the parking lot. Volunteers will receive a certificate from AAA as a certified technician. We are in the early planning stages of this, so it won't be happening for a few months.

Again, I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to this proposal. Hopefully, some members will be willing to help these seniors by volunteering as a Car-Fit technician with me and give back to this "Great Generation" that has done so much for us, including giving us the freedom to have and drive freely the cars that we enjoy so much. My contact information is included below. Thank you.

Frank Rapisardi
20 Harris Avenue
Unit 13
Hampton, NH 03842

Help Senior Drivers