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Bill would remove mandatory driving test for people with limited vision

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 20th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I figured I'd post interesting bills I come across here on Page Two. If they warrant more attention, I'll consider a Front Page story.

Senate Bill 288, "Eliminates requirement that person with limited vision condition take driver test every two years."

The bill was introduced by state Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas). Current law calls for people with limited vision to take an actual driving test every two years. According to the law, the test must be "an actual demonstration of the person's ability to operate a motor vehicle without endangering the safety of persons or property."

The bill would amend the law to remove the driving test provision and swap it out for a requirement to be examined by a licensed vision specialist every two years and the specialist must certify to the DMV that, "the person meets the vision requirements" as laid out in existing Oregon driving laws.

An aide in Sen. Boquist's office said he submitted the bill, "for one of his constituents." The bill is slated for a public hearing and possible work session on Thursday (2/21) in the Senate Business and Transportation Committee. We don't expect it to get very far, but we'll keep track of it just in case.

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Comments
  • Nick February 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    This seems backwards. Every driver should be regularly tested to make sure they at least know the laws and are capable of following them and driving safely. It's insane that we allow completely unqualified people to pilot deadly machines around the city every day.

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  • Todd Mobley February 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Is this the BikePortland bureau of The Onion?

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  • LoveDoctor February 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    As someone who rides a bike, and drives, and is an eye doctor, this is terrifying. I often see people with limited vision, and Oregon law already requires that we report anyone who drives but cannot meet the numerical definition of "good vision" (either acuity or peripheral vision). The exam room presents a limited perspective of a person's ability to successfully operate a multi-thousand pound vehicle in a dynamic environment. While someone may meet the technical definition of adequate vision in the exam room, I would feel far more comfortable with an actual skills test. There are cognitive loads that dramatically impact reaction time and judgement that go beyond 20/40 (the legal limit for unrestricted driving).

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