DOC­TOR'S OR­DERS FOR UN­FIT DRIV­ERS?

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By David Jamieson

THE GOV­ERN­MENT is con­sid­er­ing law amend­ments which would oblige GPs to ad­vise the Traf­fic De­part­ment (DGT) if a pa­tient is con­sid­ered un­fit to drive.

At present, con­fi­den­tial­ity rules pre­vent doc­tors giv­ing such warn­ings to the traf­fic au­thor­i­ties, ex­cept if the pa­tient is con­sid­ered to be a dan­ger to her­self, him­self or oth­ers.

The gov­ern­ment is in the process of re­form­ing parts of the Road Safety Act and is aim­ing to im­prove co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the DGT and health au­thor­i­ties.

The Com­mit­tee on Road Safety in Congress is ex­plor­ing ways in which GPs could raise the alarm if some­one with a driv­ing li­cence has an in­jury or suf­fers from a con­di­tion which di­min­ishes their ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Trá­fico could then sus­pend the per­son's li­cence, ac­cord­ing to the pro­pos­als pre­sented by the rul­ing PP party.

The com­mit­tee con­sid­ers that the five- or 10-year health checks re­quired for driv­ing li­cence re­newals in Spain may be in­suf­fi­cient for the de­tec­tion of such con­di­tions.

Hold­ers of a Class B, the most com­mon amongst pri­vate driv­ers, are re­quired to be checked every 10 years to age 65, and every five years there­after.

Other as­pects of the traf­fic laws cur­rently un­der de­bate in­clude whether it should be com­pul­sory for mo­tor­cy­clists and moped-riders to wear pro­tec­tive jack­ets and safe footwear, the lat­ter aimed at out­law­ing two-wheeled mo­torists driv­ing in flip-flops.

The com­mit­tee is also con­sid­er­ing up­grad­ing the re­quire­ments for crash bar­ri­ers in an ef­fort to re­duce the num­ber of mo­tor­cy­clists who die every year on Span­ish roads as a re­sult of im­pact­ing against them.

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