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Elderly Driving



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Monday's horrible auto-pedestrian accident that killed a father and his five-year-old daughter in a marked school crosswalk has generated much debate this week about elderly drivers.

The community must not jump to conclusions merely because the driver of the vehicle that plowed through the crosswalk is said to be 86. Let the legal process determine whether age was a factor.

Regardless, the tragedy offers an opportunity for those in our communities who continue to drive into their 70's, 80's and 90's to look introspectively at their own abilities to operate a motor vehicle. Surely, laws can be passed, as some states are doing, to deal with the danger posed by some elderly drivers. Utah legislators, as well, ought to continue the dialogue in a search for the best tools for promoting safety on our highways.

In KSL's view, though, a significant remedy is self-regulation.

Many elderly, according to experts, make the wise choice of voluntarily limiting their driving or giving it up altogether as they come to recognize their own diminishing skills.

As we suggested, let Monday's accident be a catalyst for serious personal reflection and introspection by those who are getting along in years. Surely, giving up the keys would be much better than becoming the cause of another's tragic grief.

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