Expo for seniors on the go comes to St. Pete this week

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St. Pete has come a long way since its days of being known as the Green Bench City. Since then, the move here to die jokes have subsided. But that doesn’t mean we don’t still have our fair share of retirees. And many of them drive.

Now, this is its own joke, indeed, but seniors on the road are no laughing matter. That’s why the Safety is Golden Mobility Fair aims to offer the city’s more mature residents information about the impact of aging on driving as well as provide crucial resources on how to stay mobile – even if it’s out of a personal vehicle.

The fair will feature information on how seniors can stay safe in their cars, on foot, riding a bike or using public transportation. The idea is to cut back on traffic accidents involving the city’s older folks. According to the Safe Mobility for Life Coalition, there are more than 3 million Floridians who are at least 65 and between 2011 and 2013 those seniors were involved in more than 2,500 crashes in St. Pete alone.

The event is Friday at 9 a.m. at the Sunshine Center on 5th Street North near City Hall and the popular St. Pete Shuffle Board courts. It runs until 1 p.m. It’s being planned in coordination with Older Driver Safety Awareness Week and hosted the Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition.

The coalition was established by the FDOT to help reduce the number of crashes while improving the safety, access and mobility for Florida’s aging road users. The Coalition consists of representatives from FDOT and Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, along with 28 national, state, and local aging and safety advocates.

Sadly, there’s no word yet on whether a driving safety expo will be held for snow birds.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.