Other than the perhaps obvious inability to see clearly even with prescribed lenses leading to difficulty in seeing anything clearly or where there is a diagnosed, degenerative disease in one or both optic nerves, there are other medical "conditions" which, by law, any physician must report to the Ministry of Transportation (Ontario) – without exception.
While the system may be flawed and some might even think it unfair, at the end of the day the system that is in place is intended to protect afflicted patients – and anyone else either on or about the road, in or outside a vehicle of any description as a passenger or even as a pedestrian.
To be clear, although there are those who may believe otherwise, this is not just to protect the elderly who are likely going to be in the majority of those who may be reported. This situation can effect anyone over the age of 16 – there is no discrimination here.
Medical reports are prioritized according to the risk to road safety as either high risk or low risk.
This situation can effect anyone over the age of 16 – there is no discrimination here.
High risk conditions are conditions that are chronic, deteriorating, unstable or progressive such as:
- Advanced dementia or Alzheimer's disease;
- Uncontrolled seizures or diabetes;
- Substance abuse, psychiatric disorders with symptoms of suicidal thoughts, extreme agitation, impulsive or violent behaviour etc.; and,
- Uncontrolled sleep apnea and treatment is refused.
Low risk conditions are deemed to be those that do not pose an immediate or serious risk to road safety; conditions that are stable and/or temporary, such as:
- Controlled sleep apnea;
- Any seizure occurring one year ago or more;
- Controlled diabetes;
- Heart disease;
- Reactive depression;
- Cast/splints; and,
- Stable psychiatric disorders.
Furthermore, optometrists in Ontario, just like physicians are required by law to report to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles any individual who may be suffering from an eye condition that may make it dangerous to drive. In fact, section 204 of the Highway Traffic Act states,
"Every member of the College of Optometrists of Ontario shall report to the Registrar the name, address and clinical condition of every person sixteen years of age or over attending upon the optometrist for optometric services who, in the opinion of the optometrist, is suffering from an eye condition that may make it dangerous for the person to operate a motor vehicle."
Point is, just because you may not have reported any change in your health, it may have already been done for you. It's in everyone's best interests.