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People with health issues may be banned from driving

THE MEDICAL COUNCIL is planning to propose a driving ban for patients whose health condition could turn them into dangerous drivers.

In foreign countries, people with heart diseases, severe forms of diabetes, and epilepsy are barred from getting behind the wheels as research shows they rank among the most common causes of road accidents.

"They are just behind drunk driving," the council's deputy secretary-general Ittaporn Kanacharoen said yesterday.

Drivers' health conditions have become a hot issue this month in the wake of a tragic accident. On June 11, an epileptic former school director in Nong Bua Lamphu province had a seizure behind the wheel and failed to control his car, killing four students and injuring 11 others.

According to Ittaporn, representatives from the Medical Council, the Department of Land Transport, and people, including entrepreneurs, will work together in drafting guidelines on how to prevent some patients from causing road accidents. "We expect to get clear-cut guidelines within 30 days," he said.

He said applicants for driving licences must clearly identify their health conditions and illness history. They must also produce doctor certificates. Ittaporn said there were about 1.2 million to 1.4 million epilepsy patients in Thailand.




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