When should an older driver hang up the car keys for good?

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Posted: Monday, February 3, 2014 5:41 pm | Updated: 9:51 am, Tue Feb 4, 2014.

BRADENTON, Fla. - Should the right to drive have an age limit? That is a question many are asking in the wake of Sunday’s tragic accident that killed three pedestrians and injured four others in Bradenton.

“We are all going to get there and it is hard to take the independence out of people,” said Diane Sutton. She told ABC 7 her 90-year-old father only gave up his keys only after a minor fender bender because he realized he could hurt someone else. Sutton believes senior drivers should go through some type of test.

“Florida needs to do a little re-examination of drivers licenses like they do for teenagers,” said Sutton.

“I myself am 87 years old and I drive very well,” said Gerry Kuiper, adding, “I wouldn’t want to be told I can’t drive anymore.”

Kuiper says the right to drive should be based on an individual’s abilities not an age number.

“If you feel like you should stop then stop. It has to be gauged on each one individually. If the state says you have to go and take a test, go take a test and if they feel like you are capable, then give them a license,” said Kuiper.

“But what happens sometimes, people don’t want to give up [driving] when they should,” said 85-year-old Marianne Dorr. She still drives but has set some driving limitations on herself.

“I think that people should be aloud to drive for as long as they are competent to do it safely,” said Dorr.

84-year-old Joan Jones agrees.

“If you get that morning and you don’t feel too well, you do not go out and drive that car. You go out when you know you have the facilities that you can take care of yourselves and react fast enough,” said Jones.

The right to drive gives drivers of all ages a sense of freedom.

“Once your license is gone your independence is gone,” said Kuiper.

But it only takes an instant for a tragic accident like the one in Sugar Creek Country Club to occur.

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