As a result of a worldwide cooperative movement, the absolute driving ban for people with epilepsy (PWE) has been lifted in Japan. Since 1960, people who have epilepsy have been banned from driving in Japan. A December article in the journal Epilepsia outlines the efforts and procedures taken to reinstate driving rights to people with epilepsy, a restriction affecting many epilepsy patients throughout the world.
According to experts at Johns Hopkins University, 86 drivers per year died in the U.S. as a result of crashes caused by epileptic seizures between 1995 and 1997. With this potential for accidents and fatalities, laws have been put in place to restrict people who have epilepsy from operating vehicles. Similar restrictions exist for persons with progressive vision loss, for example, reserving the privilege for those who are less likely to have an accident.
A draft of the Road Traffic Act in Japan in December of 2000 stated that people who suffer from epilepsy would not be eligible to receive a driving license at all. After protests from local and international epilepsy organizations and individuals, the Act was revised to allow PWE to obtain a driving license after a seizure-free period of two years.
Sharon Agsalda | alfa
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