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Eye and Vision Care

Rentitis Pigmentosa

07/26/2011

Question:

A friend has been Diagnosed with RP (Retntitis Pignmentosa ) and he is interested to know what is the legal threohold for suspension of driving license. Who determine this and legally is the decision under whose juridition to do so? He is not a taxi driver, plot, bus driver or truck driver and not work in the military or fire gighter or medical field requiring driving. Gland you can clarify.

Answer:

As you probably known, RP is a genetic eye disease that affects side vision and night sight in its early stages, and can progress to central vision loss in the late stages.

A driver's license is a privilege and not a right; so each state's Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) establishes vision standards to grant driving privileges to its citizens. The state's BMV can permit drivers to drive with correctable disabilities (for example, wearing glasses) and can require special accommodations (such as large side mirrors) and/or limitations (such as driving in daylight only or requiring annual eye examinations)) for  people who do not have adequate central vision and visual fields.

Consult your state's BMV for specific laws that govern driving privileges in your state.

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Response by:

Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO Robert D Newcomb, OD, MPH, FAAO
Professor Emeritus of Clinical Optometry
College of Optometry
The Ohio State University