Do you think driving laws are fair with regards to epilepsy?

Are driving laws pertaining to epilepsy fair?

  • Yes

    Votes: 162 45.6%
  • No

    Votes: 121 34.1%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 72 20.3%

  • Total voters
    355

jenagade

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I don't know about anywhere else but in NZ the law is:
1. Licence is revoked as soon as you have one seizure, epileptic or not, and your neurologist files the paperwork for this to happen to the land transport safety association in the government.
2. If you are caught driving you get charged with reckless endangerment on the spot, fined and have your car impounded.
3. Your neurologist has the right to call the police if they suspect you have been driving, you go to court then instead of getting an instant fine.
4. You can't act as a supervisor for a driver on their restricted licence, and same charges apply as driving yourself, minus the impound, but the driver also gets a fine for not having a valid supervisor, we are classed as "impaired".
5. A year after your last seizure your licence is renewed, except where there is sufficient evidence that the original seizure was a one off event unlikely to occur, then it gets reduced to six months.

For example a friend of mine was electrocuted by a malfunctioning electric fence and had a seizure, had never had one before that and hasn't had one since, but he had to wait for six months before getting his licence back.

I am currently into my second year with no licence, and as of yesterday I have exactly a year to go until I get it back lol, until the next seizure resets the clock.

It does sound like a pretty extreme law, but every epileptic I have talked to who has tried to drive within that time period has crashed because of a seizure. Some were minor fender benders, others were pretty serious, so I think its a fair law.
 

MMRocks

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I feel I have something unique to contribute. I live in the United States, and have held a license in Texas, Arizona, Illinois, and Idaho.

I'm 41, been driving since 15. So 26 years driving.

I only learned I've been having seizures my whole life 3 weeks ago.

I've only ever been in one accident; other person's fault, and I was 100% unable to avoid it. I have Prevented many accidents, come out of skids on ice, etc.

So I think, having driven for 26 years with no restrictions, without even knowing I was having partial temporal lobe seizures, I can confidently say that seizure driving rules are ridiculous.
 

flesz

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doctor gives me the ok in ny state sends in the dmv form stating that I'm being treated with meds and seizures free for more than 6 month. this was on feb.2 2015 now 3/9/2015. still no answer or anything to let me know what I have to do.
 

seetseet

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I don't know about anywhere else but in NZ the law is:
1. Licence is revoked as soon as you have one seizure, epileptic or not, and your neurologist files the paperwork for this to happen to the land transport safety association in the government.
2. If you are caught driving you get charged with reckless endangerment on the spot, fined and have your car impounded.
3. Your neurologist has the right to call the police if they suspect you have been driving, you go to court then instead of getting an instant fine.
4. You can't act as a supervisor for a driver on their restricted licence, and same charges apply as driving yourself, minus the impound, but the driver also gets a fine for not having a valid supervisor, we are classed as "impaired".
5. A year after your last seizure your licence is renewed, except where there is sufficient evidence that the original seizure was a one off event unlikely to occur, then it gets reduced to six months.

For example a friend of mine was electrocuted by a malfunctioning electric fence and had a seizure, had never had one before that and hasn't had one since, but he had to wait for six months before getting his licence back.

I am currently into my second year with no licence, and as of yesterday I have exactly a year to go until I get it back lol, until the next seizure resets the clock.

It does sound like a pretty extreme law, but every epileptic I have talked to who has tried to drive within that time period has crashed because of a seizure. Some were minor fender benders, others were pretty serious, so I think its a fair law.
Hi Jenegade,
So how does "the law" actually know when you have had your last seizure?
Or do you guys over in nz have to go to your neuro after every time?
Cheers
 

George__

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Driving laws I can live with but I hate how one breakthrough seizure can ruin some of your business credentials and nullify them for years.
 

Joyful

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I'm 44 and have never driven in my life. I was told that you had to be seizure free for at least a year before you could drive. I've never even gone over 8 weeks w/o a seizure. They usually happen a few times a month.
I never really wanted to drive, anyway. I have friends and relatives who take me where I want to go. Besides, if I did drive, and I had a seizure while driving, ooooh! I don't even wanna' think about it!
 

flesz

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yeah .Got my license back on friday. only took ny dmv 6 weeks to process the drs. form.
 
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Touchy subject...
I have had seizures of 35+ years, I have never driven. I have never known when a seizure is coming and because of that I have never felt it would be the right thing for me. Having never driven, there is no sense of loss. I do not like the current laws here...3 months seizure free?? No way!
 

jenagade

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Hi Jenegade,
So how does "the law" actually know when you have had your last seizure?
Or do you guys over in nz have to go to your neuro after every time?
Cheers
The short answer is that they don't. The long answer is you would be seeing your neuro at least a few times within that year anyway and unless you lie to your neuro, which would be stupid because they would be under the impression your treatment was working and not do anything about it, they at least have a time frame for the last seizure. They also don't just give your licence back your neuro has to sign off that you are medically fit to be driving again, and even it's not a guarantee you'll get it back straight away esp if it's not the first medical disqualification you've had.

The minimum year suspension applies to anyone who has had what is initially assumed to be a seizure even if it is a one off event.

Also my neuro interrogates me especially if i go to my appointments alone.
 

Ruth

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Old people shouldn't be driving
I am 73 years old. I have never driven or wanted to drive because of my epilepsy. We always move to a place that is close to a bus stop. Walking is good exercise as well.

My husband is in his 70's as well. He drives!! He is a cautious driver. No texting, no radio, no CD's. He says that all of those are distractions. He is healthy as well. Why shouldn't he drive?

Young people have accidents as well.
 

AlohaBird

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Young people have more accidents. That's why their insurance is so expensive.

Besides, one has to define "old". When I was 20, everyone over 40 seemed ancient.
 
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That's funny. I turned 50 this month, and all I could think of was how grateful I am to be alive. I remember when I was 16and teachers came and pulled me out of drivers ed. I was mortified, but I have not killed anybody yet,I know its hard But we are strong.I just figure If I get frustrated/I'll just get on my exs case.
 

seagull

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You ask a question only you can answer with honesty.Many people go back to driving but we just had case of dustbin driver who knew he had e and lied to doc as a result 6 young people dead and relatives are gunning for Juctice could mean prison sentence but driver not bad man he was desperate for work
 

Alanna

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I got my driver's license when I was 16, kind of a rite of passage. I didn't know anyone who couldn't drive because of a medical condition, then. I was an arrogant teenager. I haven't driven since I woke up, two months ago, with sore calves and a bitten tongue. On Monday, after having had my second seizure, I turned in my Driver's license. I'm a grown up, not an arrogant teenager. I agree with my doctor when he says I shouldn't be driving.
 
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I got my driver's license when I was 16, kind of a rite of passage. I didn't know anyone who couldn't drive because of a medical condition, then. I was an arrogant teenager. I haven't driven since I woke up, two months ago, with sore calves and a bitten tongue. On Monday, after having had my second seizure, I turned in my Driver's license. I'm a grown up, not an arrogant teenager. I agree with my doctor when he says I shouldn't be driving.
Likewise i got my first liscence at 17 and returned it long before i was 18 the law says 12 months seizure free and you can have it back but in my early twenties for years id go 11 3/4months then bang on the floor untill i just gave up hoping for it

Sent from my C6903 using Tapatalk
 
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I know of a woman who breaks the driving laws frequently after two week of having a grand mal seizure is out riding a 500cc motorbike and its not something important like work as she lives on state benefits
 

Porkette

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Hi,
In New York State you have to go 1 year without a seizure and have a Drs. written statement saying it's safe for you to drive but the auto insurance is very high which I don't feel is fair especially when I see all the people who have lost their license to a DWI or DUI but get it back after a short term sometimes their auto insurance is cheaper.
Wishing all of you only the best and May God Bless You!

Sue
 

resaebiunne

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Well I can't really say much, other than to say look at the statistics. People with epilepsy account for only a small percentage of accidents. As I've been rear ended twice, both times by people who were probably texting, and having witnessed the idiots on the main highways trying to have a drag race, I would say those statistics are true. While I will miss having a drivers license, I feel I have to mention that driving has never been a pleasant experience. Always having to be defensive and on the lookout for what's coming. I will miss the freedom that driving can afford me, but I won't necessarily miss driving.
 
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