Barring Accident, No Way for State to Know a Driver's Medical Condition
By Steve Gravelle, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Unless it causes an accident, there's no way the state would know a driver has a medical condition that could hamper his driving.
"We’re not going to necessarily know everybody’s medical condition," said Dena Gray-Fisher, spokeswoman for the Iowa Department of Transportation.
One person was killed and five injured, two seriously, Monday when a truck carrying the auctioneer's booth at the Kalona Sales Barn went out of control and struck several people. Police and witnesses said the truck's driver appeared to suffer a seizure or other medical condition.
If a medical cause is confirmed, it will be noted on the accident report, triggering revocation of the driver's license, Gray-Fisher said. The license would be reinstated only on a doctor's finding the driver isn't subject to seizures or other chronic conditions.
"If that person appeared to have a blackout or something, that would be reported and checked out," Gray-Fisher said. "We always rely on a medical opinion."
If there's no accident, IDOT wouldn't know of a driver's threatening condition unless it's apparent to a license examiner or police officer, Gray-Fisher said.
It's not unknown for examiners to deny license renewals to elderly drivers, and provisional licenses may restrict a driver with mileage limits or other conditions.
"They may be able to drive with accommodations or only drive in the daytime," said Gray-Fisher. "It can be restrictive."
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