MEETING WITH EXPERTS
Rank 20: Availability of Restrictions for License Customization Time-of-Day Restriction (Component BQ)
Restricting drivers who cannot meet the acuity standard to driving during daytime only, and restricting drivers who may not be able to pass a test administered in an unfamiliar area but demonstrate that they can drive safely to specific destinations in their home areas (e.g., church, doctor, shopping) or within a certain radius of home, are ways that licensing agencies can allow drivers with medical conditions and functional impairments to continue to drive safely longer.
Of the four components listed under options for supporting continuing safe mobility in the RVA, availability of restrictions for license customization received the highest RVA weighting (5.09), placing it 10th in importance of the 16 components listed in the middle column. The restriction to drive only during the daytime was ranked the highest of the four restriction types evaluated in the RVA, possibly because it is the most common. Although restricting drivers to a certain geographical area or road class were ranked in the bottom half of the RVA, they deserve consideration, based on comments offered by meeting attendees. Comments regarding license restriction/customization follow.
One attendee said they have taken away the night restriction in his jurisdiction. In the past, drivers with acuity between 20/40 and 20/70 were restricted to daytime-only driving. They found no difference in the crash rate in a population of 32,000 and several subpopulations following the removal of the restriction. The people in the low-vision program in this jurisdiction (who are trained and monitored) have a lower crash rate than the general population.
One meeting attendee said “the ability to restrict licenses to geographic areas is an important service to the citizens of our respective States; however, this isn’t implemented uniformly across all States. If we are going to deal with our aging population, we need to have that kind of capability. It will keep more people independent longer and be a reduction in cost to society.” One attendee said all their dementia cases (mild dementia onlymoderate dementia cases may not drive) have licenses restricted to geographic areas. These drivers also must be road tested in their specified geographic areas every 3 to 6 months.
The initial survey said all 51 jurisdictions have an appeal process for drivers who are aggrieved by a DMV’s licensing determination. Meeting attendees shared their policies regarding hearings. In some jurisdictions, MAB physicians hear appeals, and in others, administrative law judges hear appeals. The initial survey did not specifically ask respondents whether a road test is always provided as due process, and neither did the meeting attendees discuss road testing as due process per se. However, one meeting attendee remarked that if the treating physician indicates the driver is not medically or cognitively competent to drive, the DMV will not allow the driver to get into a car with one of its examiners to take a road test. If a treating physician will not make a fitness-to-drive recommendation, this DMV will require the driver to be evaluated by an OT or CDRS, and will only road test the driver if the driving evaluator believes the driver in question is medically and cognitively competent to drive.