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Minnesota Reduces Driver Safety Course Length for Older Drivers

Posted on 06/20/24

AARP Minnesota applauds the Minnesota Legislature for passing the Transportation Omnibus bill, which included HF3436, a provision to reduce the rule requiring an 8-hour driver safety course to be eligible for the car insurance discount to 4 hours. Safe driving courses help keep older Minnesotans safe on the road, but course participation numbers have declined in the state with the eight-hour driver safety course.

Through the combined effort of AARP Minnesota and AARP Driver Safety, we were instrumental in reducing the eight-hour teaching rule to four-hours for all organizations teaching accident prevention courses in Minnesota. An independent study comparing course lengths found no significant impact on the amount of knowledge drivers retained and found that drivers were equally as likely to change 19 safe driving behaviors for the better.
Cheryl Salo, AARP Driver Safety State Coordinator

Minnesota now joins 18 states that allow the four-hour course without sacrificing content or quality. Starting on July 1, 2024, drivers 55 and older will be eligible for a 10% auto insurance discount when participating in the four-hour driver safety course with a refresher course completed every three years.

We’re thankful for the change and hopeful it will encourage even more drivers to take a course to keep their skills sharp. The driving landscape has changed dramatically in the time since most drivers received their driver’s licenses. It's critical that as drivers, we keep up with these changes to remain independent and confident behind the wheel.
Josh Dunning, Vice President and National Director of AARP Driver Safety

Safe driving courses are effective. Findings from an AARP study show that 93% of participants change at least one key driving behavior for the better as a result of what they learned in the course, and that 73% of participants believe their driving skills improved because of taking the course. Unfortunately, course participation numbers have declined and suffered in states with 8-hour course requirements. Since 2018 AARP Driver Safety has helped 59,000 MN drivers be safer on our roads. However, AARP’s Minnesota average participation count per course has dropped 27% since 2019.

This change will encourage more people to participate in these essential courses. AARP volunteers writing to their legislators, attending legislative committee meetings and testimony provided by AARP Driver Safety Instructors were vital to pushing the bill across the finish line.
Cathy McLeer, AARP Minnesota State Director

The Transportation Omnibus bill was passed and signed into law by Governor Walz on May 14, 2024.

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This story is provided by AARP Minnesota. Visit the AARP Minnesota page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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