How do I get an elderly parent stopped from driving?

Question:

My 86 year old father in law , is getting lost while driving . He left home at 4pm in the afternoon to go to the butchery -5 kms away and ended up in Brakpan 12hrs later. Thank goodness for a kind guy , who lead him all the way back to Rivonia.

My father in law , did not take his cellphone and we spent the time, filing missing persons report, phoning hospitals . His explaination was that he just got lost.
He refuses to give up his car keys and claims that he drove for 12hrs without incident proves he is a good driver, But if you are going on a max. 10 minute drive and are still driving 12hrs later I think there is a problem.

His license expires in January 2013 , but due to the cataracts in his eyes he will not pass, is there any way to get his license renewal moved earlier ?

I am desperate , as he became hysterical and threatened suicide should we take his keys away. He is not insured and I am scared he causes an accident or worse.

Kind Regards

Answer:

Yes in terms of section 25 of the National Road Traffic Act you could notify the MEC of the Province that he does not comply with section 15 of the Act due to his eyes and his licence will then be revoked. Technically someone who does not comply with the eye requirements do not have a licence despite the fact that they are in possesion of the card.

I copy the relevant sections for you.

Sec 15.       Disqualification from obtaining or holding learner’s or driving licence

(1)        A person shall be disqualified from obtaining or holding a learner’s or driving licence—

(f)        if he or she is suffering from one of the following diseases or disabilities:

(i)         Uncontrolled epilepsy;

(ii)        sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting due to hypertension or any other cause;

(iii)       any form of mental illness to such an extent that it is necessary that he or she be detained, supervised, controlled and treated as a patient in terms of the Mental Health Act, 1973 (Act No. 18 of 1973);

(iv)       any condition causing muscular incoordination;

(v)        uncontrolled diabetes mellitus;

(vi)       defective vision ascertained in accordance with a prescribed standard;

(vii)      any other disease or physical defect which is likely to render him or her incapable of effectively driving and controlling a motor vehicle of the class to which such licence relates without endangering the safety of the public: Provided that deafness shall not of itself be deemed to be such a defect;

Defective vision disqualifying person from obtaining or holding licence

Reg 102. (1)        A person shall be disqualified from obtaining or holding a learner’s or driving licence unless—

(a)        in the case of an application for a learner’s or driving licence relating to the codes A1, A, B or EB, such person has—

(i)       according to the Snellen rating a minimum visual acuity, with or without refractive correction, of 6/12 (20/40) for each eye, or where the visual acuity of one eye is less than 6/12 (20/40) or where one eye of the person concerned is blind, a minimum visual acuity for the other eye of 6/9 (20/30); and

(ii)      a minimum visual field of 70 degrees temporal, with or without refractive correction, in respect of each eye, or where the minimum visual field in respect of one eye is less than 70 degrees temporal, or where one eye is blind, a minimum total horizontal visual field of at least 115 degrees with or without refractive correction; or

(b)        in the case of an application for a learner’s or driving licence relating to the codes C1, C, EC1 and EC, such person has—

(i)         according to the Snellen rating a minimum visual acuity, with or without refractive correction, of 6/9 (20/30) for each eye; and

(ii)        a minimum visual field of 70 degrees temporal in respect of each eye, with or without refractive correction.

(2)        (a)        A person who is disqualified in terms of subregulation (1) may at such person’s expense approach a registered optometrist or ophthalmologist to test such person’s eyes in terms of the standards referred to in subregulation (1), and the result of such test shall, if it duly reflects the visual acuity of such person according to the Snellen rating, and his or her field of vision expressed in degrees, as contemplated in subregulation (1), be accepted by the driving licence testing centre.

(b)        If the result contemplated in paragraph (a) indicates that the person concerned is disqualified as contemplated in subregulation (1), the driving licence testing centre shall not issue such person with a learner’s or driving licence with a code to which the application of that person relates.

Sec 16.       Failure to disclose disqualification in respect of licence authorising driving of motor vehicle prohibited

(1)        No person shall, when applying for a learner’s or driving licence, wilfully fail to disclose any disqualification to which he or she is subject in terms of section 15.

(2)        Any person who—

(a)        is the holder of a licence authorising the driving of a motor vehicle in terms of this Chapter; and

(b)        becomes aware thereof that he or she is disqualified from holding such licence,

shall, within a period of 21 days after having so become aware of the disqualification, submit the licence or, in the case where it is contained in an identity document, that document to the chief executive officer of the province concerned.

(3)        When a licence is submitted in terms of subsection (2) the chief executive officer shall cancel it and if the licence was issued in a prescribed territory he or she shall notify the authority which issued it of the cancellation: Provided that if the chief executive officer is satisfied that the holder thereof is competent to drive the class of motor vehicle concerned with the aid of glasses, an artificial limb or any other physical aid, the chief executive officer shall, in the case where the licence—

(a)        is contained in an identity document—

(i)         not cancel the licence, but endorse the licence accor-dingly and such endorsement shall be a condition subject to which the licence is held;

(ii)        return the identity document to the holder thereof; or

(b)        is not contained in an identity document, issue or authorise the issue of a new licence in the prescribed manner reflecting the conditions on which it is issued.

Regards

Alta

Alta Swanepoel and Associates

Also view:

The Elderly and Road Safety

Alzheimer’s and Road Safety

Pin It on Pinterest