Safety effort targets Missouri's older drivers

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A new public health campaign led by the University of Missouri hopes to better prepare aging drivers before they're forced to turn in their licenses.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety unveiled the new campaign Wednesday at a Columbia news conference featuring two state residents who lost a family member in traffic fatalities caused by older drivers.

The program aims to train doctors, nurses and peer educators to identify vulnerable seniors whose medical conditions may unknowingly pose safety threats. Organizers will start with a pilot project at University Hospital in Columbia and Mercy Hospital in Springfield and later look to take the effort statewide.

The Missouri Department of Transportation reported 126 traffic deaths in 2012 involving people 65 and older. Another 435 older Missourians were seriously injured last year.

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