Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code

Chapter 40. Rules and Regulations on Accident Prevention Courses for Older Drivers

24VAC20-40-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Commissioner" means the commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Course" means a motor vehicle accident prevention course.

"Course sponsor" or "sponsor" means an individual or organization which is responsible for the creation, establishment, and delivery of a motor vehicle accident prevention course.

"Department of Motor Vehicles" or "DMV" means the Department of Motor Vehicles.

"Instructor" means an individual who has been approved by the course sponsor to conduct the sponsor's motor vehicle accident prevention course.

"Successful completion" means the attendance at and participation in an entire DMV-approved course, including the written examination or examinations.

Statutory Authority

§§ 46.2-203 and 38.2-2217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR485-50-8401 § 1, eff. October 28, 1984.

24VAC20-40-20. Accident prevention course approval and application for approval.

A. Course sponsors may file an application for approval at any time with the commissioner. Applications shall be accompanied by the following:

1. A copy of the proposed accident prevention course materials, curriculum, and promotional documents;

2. The name, address, and social security number of instructors who shall conduct the course;

3. A copy of the manual and course materials indicating method and length of training course for instructors;

4. Criteria for selecting instructors;

5. The address and description of each classroom facility in which courses shall be conducted, including the maximum capacity of the classroom;

6. A copy of any research studies and other materials, if existing, which indicate the validity of the course for accident/conviction prevention, or which provide an empirical basis for the course contents and methodology;

7. The fee charged to participants, amount of time in hours normally required to complete the course, and number of days required to complete these hours;

8. A statement as to ability and willingness to meet the standards and requirements set forth in this chapter;

9. The name, address, and telephone number of the responsible contact person;

10. Any procedures or plans in existence for monitoring and maintaining the quality of instruction and for periodic updating of course contents and methods.

B. Course approval shall be valid for a three-year period and thereafter unless rescinded by the commissioner.

C. No course shall be approved unless the course and its sponsors fulfill the requirements set forth in this chapter.

D. After giving 15 days' notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the commissioner may rescind or cancel the approval of a course for any of the following reasons:

1. Change in fee, or changes, deletions, or additions to the course curriculum and methods without prior approval by the commissioner;

2. A finding that the course is ineffective or counter-effective in improving highway safety;

3. Failure to comply with any of the standards and procedural requirements of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§§ 46.2-203 and 38.2-2217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR485-50-8401 § 2, eff. October 28, 1984.

24VAC20-40-30. Course contents and instructional methodology.

A. Course contents shall focus specifically on the information needs of drivers aged 55 years and older. To allow maximum time for this focus, content which is irrelevant or more appropriate to young or inexperienced drivers should be excluded. The curriculum shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the following subjects:

1. Vision and other physical problems which tend to accompany increasing age; how these problems may affect driving performance; how to compensate for the problems;

2. Fatigue; drugs, both over-the-counter and prescription; alcohol; the interaction of drugs, alcohol, fatigue and other conditions; effect on driving and precautionary measures;

3. Updates on recent signs, signals, and pavement markings;

4. Travel time and route selection for optimal driving conditions; alternatives to driving offered by public transportation, senior citizen groups, and other organizations;

5. Safety belts and the special needs of older people to use them;

6. Updates on safe and defensive driving under modern conditions; e.g., the 3-second following distance, how to deal with tailgaters; lane positioning; safe passing; safe turning; freeway entrance and exit; maintaining prevailing speed; right-of-way rules; driver's responsibility to yield; and

7. Techniques to gain increased time for decisions; e.g., situations requiring greater following distance; pre-trip planning; passenger assistance; recognizing hazards in time; unfamiliar areas and construction areas.

B. Instructional methods shall be used which capitalize on the greater experience level of the older adult and which provide ample opportunity for participants to relate the material to past experience and present needs.

1. Courses shall provide a minimum of eight hours of classroom presentation and discussion. This eight hours of time shall be divided over at least a two-day period, in order to allow time for better integration and comprehension of the safety concepts.

2. Courses shall incorporate a high level of student-instructor interaction and structured group discussions in order to relate the concepts to past experiences.

3. Vision and other physical problems should be considered in designing instructional materials and aids and classroom setup.

4. Courses shall focus on factual information, its meaning, and how to apply it in driving. Shock effects and scare tactics are to be avoided.

5. Course materials shall be clearly and simply written, avoid technical terms, and be printed in large enough type to be easily legible. Insofar as practical, written materials should be personal in tone; e.g., use "you" instead of "the older driver." The materials should focus on specific driving information needs, rather than present age itself as a problem. Terms which emphasize aging, such as "elderly," should be avoided, since research has shown that people do not tend to identify with such terms. Illustrations, in addition, should not present physical stereotypes of older persons.

6. Films, filmstrips, and audio recordings shall not exceed an aggregate of one quarter of the total presentation time.

7. One or more written examinations shall be given to cover all subject areas, with scoring and feedback to reinforce learning.

8. Classes may not exceed 35 students or the maximum capacity of the accommodation, whichever is less. Classroom facilities shall provide adequate lighting, space, ventilation, and freedom from distracting noise.

Statutory Authority

§§ 46.2-203 and 38.2-2217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR485-50-8401 § 3, eff. October 28, 1984.

24VAC20-40-40. Administrative requirements.

A. Fees, if any, charged for a course shall be a reasonable amount to be approved by the commissioner.

B. Course sponsors shall provide instructors who have received at least twelve hours of training and who are competent to deliver the course; and furnish each instructor with all necessary materials for delivery of the course.

C. Course sponsors shall ensure that a record system is established and maintained of all course participants who are issued a certificate of completion; each record shall be maintained for a minimum of three years following course completion.

D. Course sponsors shall provide DMV with a list, in the format and frequency to be prescribed by the commissioner, of all course participants who are issued a certificate.

E. Course sponsors shall designate an individual as representative of the course sponsor, including address and telephone number, who is responsible for liaison with DMV, in order to provide efficient administration.

F. Course sponsors shall authorize DMV to audit course records and to monitor and evaluate any and all aspects of the course, including classroom facilities.

G. Course sponsors shall arrange for certificates of completion to be mailed promptly from a central location to course participants. Certificates shall be on a form which has been approved by the commissioner.

H. Instructors shall issue to each participant at the time of successful course completion:

1. A printed statement, which has been approved by the commissioner, explaining that the certificate of completion will be mailed from a central office, and giving the name, address, and phone number of the person to contact if it is not received, the anticipated date that it should be received, and procedures for using the certificate to obtain an insurance rate discount;

2. A student course evaluation form which will be provided by DMV;

3. Instructions which explain that the course evaluation form may be used for both positive and negative comments and should be returned to DMV at the address provided on the form.

I. Course sponsors shall provide the commissioner, upon request, with a schedule of class dates, times, and locations.

Statutory Authority

§§ 46.2-203 and 38.2-2217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR485-50-8401 § 4, eff. October 28, 1984.

24VAC20-40-50. Advertising of approved courses.

Advertising by sponsors of approved courses shall conform to the following:

1. It may not use or allow the use of advertising which portrays the sponsor as an agent of state government or as a representative or employee or any other way associated with the Department of Motor Vehicles;

2. It may make no false or misleading claims or statements in any of its advertising relating to insurance premium reduction, or program effectiveness and benefits;

3. At least one form of printed advertising must provide the course fee or fee schedule and shall include a statement advising persons to consult with their insurance carrier regarding the premium reduction; and

4. All advertising must indicate that the sponsor and course has been and is currently approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Statutory Authority

§§ 46.2-203 and 38.2-2217 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR485-50-8401 § 5, eff. October 28, 1984.

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