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Have a loved one struggling to drive? Here are the actions you can take

Driving a Car
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-16 01:41:32-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Knowing when to tell a loved one to stop driving can be tough. The Driver Evaluation Program at ECMC is there to make the determination easier.

"Our job at the program is to keep people on the roads as long and safe as possible," Maria McLaughlin with ECMC, said.

The evaluation program determines the ability of a driver using a classroom and road course to see if a recommendation needs to be made for driving ability to be restricted or removed. A physician recommendation for the course is preferred, but ECMC can take anyone that is in need of the help. The results of the course are, in most cases, recommendations for how to proceed with the driver.

"Whether that is allowing a person to drive, modifying where they drive, and really just starting to accept age related changes," McLaughlin said.

The Driver Evaluation Program is one of many ways loved ones can have a person's driving skills evaluated. According to Erie County Clerk Michael Kearns, the state can step in if necessary.

"There is a process in the State of New York for the state to review a persons drivers license," Kearns said.

In this case, a physician, police agency, or concerned individual could fill out this request for review. It's something that Kearns says should not to be taken lightly as the results of it could lead to a license removal.

"This is a serious form and you have to identify why you think this person needs to have their driver's license taken away," Kearns said.

It's important to point out that both filing a request through the DMV and the driving course are not age restrictive or discriminatory. Both Kearns and McLaughlin wanted to stress that driving difficulties can come in all ages.

"Age is not a good predictor for driving performance," McLaughlin said, "their ability to function on a day-to-day basis is."

For more information on the ECMC course, visit their website here or call 716-898-3225.

For more information on the DMV procedures, visit the link here.