Joe Petruk is a driving force behind the very successful AARP Driver Safety Program in Arkansas. Under his leadership, the state averages about 12,000 class participants a year and this year he’s adding a special class for deaf and/or hard-of-hearing seniors through a partnership with the Arkansas Association for the Deaf.
“Agnes and I cannot go anywhere without talking to one of the students we have trained,” said Petruk. That is understandable as he and his wife have helped over 5,000 seniors complete the course in their hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas alone.
The AARP Driver Safety Program has helped millions of drivers stay safe on the roads since its inception in 1979. After attending a class himself, Petruk decided he wanted to become an instructor. “This was my opportunity to help,” said Petruk. “I’m helping to create safer drivers who will pay less money for automobile insurance.”
Arkansas is one of 36 states that require all automobile insurance companies conducting business in the state to offer insurance discounts to people completing a state-approved driver-improvement course in the classroom.
And while students save money, Petruk feels he is getting something far more priceless. “Volunteering will keep you energized,” said Petruk. “I not only feel better when I’m busy, but I also feel like I’m paying back some of what I got when I was younger.”
“We rely on volunteers like Joe to operate and grow programs like AARP Driver Safety,” said Maria Reynolds-Diaz. “Their efforts help AARP Arkansas play a positive role in the communities in which our members live.”
The classroom course costs only $12 for AARP members and $14 for non-members. The cost for the online course is $15.95 for AARP members and $19.95 for nonmembers. To find a class near you, call 888-OUR-AARP (888-687-2277) or visit AARP Driver Safety online.
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