October 21, 2011|Diane C. Lade, Sun Sentinel
The cardinal of Floridians who accept had their drivers licenses revoked because they are accounted physically or mentally unfit has added than angled in the aftermost decade, accompaniment abstracts show. Chief amid the affidavit abounding lose active privileges: problems accompanying to dementia, stroke, seizures and added bloom conditions.
A longstanding, but abstruse Florida law allows anyone to acquaint the accompaniment about motorists with concrete or brainy altitude that ability appulse their driving. The letters are arcane but charge be in writing, and accommodate the reporter’s name and signature. Motorists who see aberrant drivers on the alley should alarm the police, admiral say.
Last year, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles revoked 7,716 licenses for medical affidavit — compared to 3,559 in 2000. Best motorists absent their privileges because they didn’t abide added abundant medical advice requested by the accompaniment to appearance they still should be able to drive.
Many cases stemmed from ancestors members, the accessible or professionals advertisement motorists to the accompaniment Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles afterwards the drivers had been in accidents, became afresh abashed or lost, or were consistently active erratically.
While motorists of any age can accept medical issues, the acceleration in revocations may in allotment axis from Florida’s growing cardinal of earlier drivers, said Fran Carlin-Rogers, a chief busline adviser from Orlando.
State statistics show:
Another 6,559 licenses were revoked by medical assay aftermost year for either declining the state’s eyes assay or not appointment a eyes report. Since 2004, Florida has appropriate drivers age 80 and earlier to accept their eyes activated every six years.
More drivers are actuality flagged, with accompaniment statistics assuming 9,105 appear for medical affidavit aftermost year. A 2000 Sun-Sentinel assay begin there had been 8,294 letters in 1999.
State admiral conducted 17,408 new and aftereffect medical reviews aftermost year, and 3,101 requests for retests due to medical reasons.
Nearly one in bristles association is over 65 years old now, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But by 2030, one out of every four Floridians abaft the caster will be a chief aborigine – abounding who will be active in South Florida retirement communities.
About 7 percent of the letters were absolved by authorities who bent they had no merit. The state’s Medical Advisory Board makes a final accommodation in such cases, which can accommodate requesting a retest or abstinent a motorist’s license, Howard said.
Alcohol and biologic corruption abide the best accepted affidavit accompaniment admiral abjure Floridians’ licenses. There accept been about 460,800 active beneath the access and 151,260 controlled actuality sanctions filed adjoin drivers and arch to revocations so far this year.
Advocates alive with chief citizens say the access in medical letters suggests added families and physicians — who ability shy abroad from aching discussions about giving up the keys — are accommodating to yze potentially alarming earlier drivers by filing with the state. Some families alike acceptable the added scrutiny.
Jupiter woman, whose bedmate has Alzheimer’s ache but asked not to be called because he was a acclaimed above professional, said she had hoped his doctors would acquaintance the accompaniment afterwards her apron snuck the car keys out of her purse and collection to a adjacent accouterments abundance in his underwear. Finally, one physician started the paperwork aftermost ages afterwards her husband’s bloom affliction workers abstruse of the abundance trip.
She thinks a arcane advertisement arrangement is critical, as dementia patients generally won’t accept to their family’s pleas for them not to drive. She’s hidden her keys afresh as her husband, for now, still has a accurate authorization – which allows him to drive a motorcycle as able-bodied as a car.
Mary Barnes, CEO and admiral of Alzheimer’s Community Affliction in West Palm Beach, said the access in medical advertisement is a acceptable thing.
“I anticipate it’s a actual absolute sign,” said Barnes, whose bureau provides casework to patients and families. “People are bigger compassionate what’s at accident back a disciplinarian is cognitively impaired.”
Carlin-Rogers thinks added law administration training and publicity campaigns about befitting chief drivers safe has upped the advertisement numbers. Badge were the ones best acceptable to banderole medically capricious drivers, filing 42 percent of the 2009 reports, with one-third advancing from medical professionals. Only 11 percent came from ancestors associates and added third parties.
AARP, which in the accomplished has against age-based added alley testing for drivers, has no botheration with medical assay boards and arcane reports, said backer Nancy Thompson. “Nobody wants the anchorage to be unsafe,” she said. “If admiral and families are advantageous added absorption and demography activity in a way that is absolute for all, that is a acceptable thing.”
Where to get help
To address drivers who may be alarming due to bloom reasons: Go to flhsmv.gov/azguide. Bang on the letter “R” and again bang on “report bad drivers.” Complete the anatomy and chase the commitment instructions. The accepted accompaniment Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles cardinal is 850-617-2000.
For a agenda of safe active assets in your breadth for seniors: http://www.safeandmobileseniors.org.
[email protected] or 954-356-4295.
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