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Death caused by elderly driver puts focus on state's auto policy

A rash of accidents involving elderly drivers in Massachusetts has brought focus on the state's auto policy regarding driver testing.

Last weekend, a four-year-old Massachusetts girl was killed when she was allegedly hit by a car driven by an 88-year-old woman. The woman has been charged with vehicular homicide and had her license revoked.

Massachusetts state senator Brian Joyce has introduced legislation to require drivers over 85 to pass vision and road tests every five years. "We need to act sooner, rather than later," Joyce said, according to the Quincy Patriot Ledger.

Currently, 26 states have an auto policy regulating licensing of elderly drivers, a number which could go up due to an aging population and growing numbers of older drivers on the roads.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, one in four drivers - more than 30 million people - will be age 65 or older by 2030, representing the fastest growing population segment.

This week, AAA launched a senior safety and mobility website for families of older drivers, to help extend safe driving and assist in difficult discussions about transitioning from driver to passenger.

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