OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 6, 2013) - This morning a group of Ottawa seniors were on hand at Ben Franklin Place to attend an information session regarding aging and driving. SHIFTING GEARS, organized by CAA North & East Ontario (CAA NEO), in conjunction with the Safer Road Ottawa Program and other community partners, is an event designed to provide information, promote further awareness and encourage discussion around senior driving safety.

"We know that today's mature Canadians are among the most active and community minded than ever before, so it is essential for us to ensure that we are providing the best possible resources to help preserve those qualities. By creating a comfortable environment, we hope to engage seniors and their families to have the discussion about this sensitive topic" says Todd Beavis, Managing Director, Marketing and Communications for CAA North & East Ontario.

Today's information session offered Ottawa seniors and their families the chance to hear from experts in the field of law enforcement, transportation and health care. Recognizing that some mature drivers may not be familiar with the changing driving legislation, fully understand how their health and medication can impact road safety for themselves and others, or simply do not realize that seeking an alternative method of transportation can offer some great health and social benefits, representatives from the Ottawa Police, OC Transpo, the Ottawa and even a Pharmacist and Occupational Therapist were on hand to offer insight, vital information and answer questions.

It is estimated that the population of seniors will double in Ontario by the year 2036, increasing to 4.1 Million from the current 2 Million, leading to more seniors on the road and more families with the task of recognizing when age begins to interfere with driving safety and how to make the appropriate adjustments. Fully recognizing the implications of an aging population is the Council on Aging of Ottawa, who are specifically dedicated to working with and for seniors to voice issues and concerns to all levels of government and to the general public. They along with Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee were also in attendance to offer their support to the event and senior community.

"Shifting Gears is another example of our community coming together and shows our continued support towards the growing needs of our older adults." says Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. "As a City we are enhancing programming for older adults and as we do so, we want to ensure they can arrive safely either by their own means or the City's transit services"

"The Council on Aging of Ottawa actively supports providing up-to-date information about responsible and safe driving to the community - as well as important information about transportation choices in Ottawa when driving is no longer possible." said Cal Martell, President, Council on Aging of Ottawa.

Committed and devoted to keeping seniors driving as long as safely possible, CAA will shortly be unveiling a Senior Driving Portal. This national campaign is set to launch in early 2014 and will provide specific information, tools for discussion and tips for senior drivers and their families.

For more than 100 years, the Canadian Automobile Association has been providing best-in-class emergency roadside assistance, along with an extensive array of travel and insurance services designed to suit the individual needs, wants and expectations of its Members.

CAA North & East Ontario is part of a federation of nine clubs across the country providing nearly six million CAA Members with exclusive access to a host of savings with our local, national and international partners through the CAA Rewards™ program.

CAA North & East Ontario is also proud to be able to boast a rich and extensive history of advocating on behalf of what is important to our Members in the areas of road safety, the environment and consumer information.

Detailed information on the wide range of services and offerings available with CAA North & East Ontario can be found at

Safer Roads Ottawa (SRO) is a partnership between Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedic Service, Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Public Health and the Public Works Department committed to preventing or eliminating road deaths and serious injuries for all people in the City of Ottawa, through culture change, community engagement, and development of a sustainable safe transportation environment.

Safer Roads Ottawa acts as the umbrella program and key point of contact for all road safety initiatives originating from the City of Ottawa. The goal is to ensure that all corporate road initiatives are coordinated and are fully supported by the internal partners.

SRO also works with, engages and invests in our community road safety partners including; CAA North & East Ontario, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Citizens for Safe Cycling, Club Optimiste Vanier, Green Communities Canada, M.A.D.D. (Ottawa Chapter), Ottawa Safety Council, Society of Ottawa Area Riders (S.O.A.R.), PARTY Program, Transport Canada, Walk Ottawa and Young Drivers Canada.

Contact Information:

Media Contacts:
CAA North & East Ontario
Amy Orfanakos
Media and Public Affairs Specialist
613.820.1890 X 6317

Safer Roads Ottawa
Rob Wilkinson
Coordinator, Safer Roads Ottawa Program
613-580-2424 X 28064