Docs can keep dangerous drivers off the road
Mar 14, 2018 | 2390 views | 0 0 comments | 149 149 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The recent tragedy in Park Slope that left two children dead and two mothers injured when they were hit by an out-of-control car has pushed the subject of street safety again to the forefront.

There are several reports that the woman behind the wheel in the fatal wreck suffered from a medical condition that caused a seizure, which is why she ran the red light at intersection of Ninth Street and Fifth Avenue.

If that is indeed the case, the woman should have never been behind the wheel of a car.

Under current New York State law, a police officer, doctor or even concerned citizen can alert the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that a person suffers from a medical condition that could make it dangerous for themselves and others to drive a vehicle.

If the person who files the report is not a doctor, DMV will request an examination. If it is a doctor who alerts DMV to the danger, the agency can suspend a driver's license until a physician clears them to drive again.

The problem is that reporting a potentially dangerous medical condition is not required by law. However, there is legislation in Albany to change that.

A bill currently being considered would make it mandatory for doctors to alert DMV if one of their patients has a condition that would affect them behind the wheel.

No one wants to have their medical ailments shared with the public, and certainly no one wants to have their driving privileges revoked, but if someone had spoken up about the driver in last week's crash, two young kids would still be alive.

Of course, it will require enforcement; there are plenty of people with revoked and suspended licenses who still get behind the wheel and injure or kill pedestrians. It won't prevent every tragedy.

But if mandatory reporting requirements can keep dangerous drivers off the road, even if it saves just one life it will be worth it.

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