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NTSB Proposes System to Report Driver´s Medical Conditions

December 2, 2004

The National Transportation Safety Board has begun formally issuing its recommendations on improving the medical oversight of non-commercial drivers, according to news reports. Unlike truckers, drivers of non-commercial vehicles usually don´t have to pass any kind of medical screening (except minimal vision tests) to receive and renew their driver´s licenses. But if safety recommendations from the NTSB become reality, doctors and relatives – and virtually anyone else – would be able to report individual drivers´ medical conditions to state motor vehicle agencies without facing prosecution for privacy violations.NTSB officials outlined in a public meeting in November their concerns about drivers with certain medical conditions that the board views as being “incompatible with unrestricted operation of motor vehicles.” The board wants a national system to collect and report information regarding the impact of drivers´ medical conditions on traffic accidents.At the heart of the board recommendations is the contention that states should enact laws to grant legal immunity to people who inform state motor vehicle agencies about other drivers´ medical conditions.Medical conditions that the NTSB suggests are of particular danger in driving situations include: epilepsy, diabetes, sleep disorders, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer´s Disease, arthritis, eye diseases, and alcoholism.
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