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Vision-impaired drivers allowed in NY

As of September 28, 2011, the New York State driver license renewal process allows drivers the ability to "self-certify that they meet the vision requirements necessary to drive".   New York with be the 9th state in the US to allow for self-certification of vision adequate for driving. The current vision testing procedure was implemented in 2000. This procedure required drivers to read the 20/40 line at the DMV office or get a vision certification filled out by an ophthalmologist or optometrist stating that a patient's best corrected or non-corrected visual acuity in at least one eye is 20/40. From 1993 to 2000, NO vision testing was required in New York state, and statistics showed that there was no negative impact on traffic safety during this time period. Local law makers say this is a step in the right direction for the future of the DMV, because they weren't able to prove an increase in the number of accidents in a population of people that didn't have their vision measured. But of course, there are many reasons why this might be so, including better health of the population as a whole . In a clear cost-saving measure, New York State changed its law in exchange for public safety, in what is a natural follow-up to the state's changing their vision measurements from every 3 to every 8 years. A lot can happen in 8 years, and it is not uncommon in my ophthalmology office to examine patients who have 20/200 or 20/400 vision. Insurance company actuaries will inform you otherwise, of course. Poor vision increases the risk of accidents. Likewise, so does poor physical health and neurological status. We previously conducted a survey of our readers on vision and legal driving. The results are posted at http://tinyurl.com/3cbgfq4 -- Mary Sweetman, Certified Ophthalmic Assistant Paul L. Krawitz, M.D., President, VisiVite.Com

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