Kenya has taken ambitious steps to prevent people suffering from certain diseases from driving. Those who suffer from high blood pressure are among those who can not be licensed to have a driver’s license.
The country’s National Transportation and Safety Authority (NTSA) has released the new driving program with the recommendation of mandatory medical tests for epilepsy, hypertension, vision and hearing problems for all drivers.
According to the new program, drivers are expected to renew their licenses every 10 years, and only after submitting a medical report. However, motorists over 60 must submit a medical report every year.
Medical tests will also include a range of brain-related diseases and illnesses that inhibit mobility and muscle movement such as stroke. In the study program, eye conditions lead to a long list of mandatory medical tests for new drivers as well as older drivers looking to renew their driver’s licenses.
According to NTSA Deputy Director of Security, Dr. Duncan Kibogong, certain conditions will lead to automatic disqualification. “For epilepsy, it’s a no. The fact is that no one, including the driver, has any idea when seizures may occur, “Kibogong said that NTSA would work closely with the Ministry of Health to ensure that only those who are fit are allowed on the road.
The practice of linking driver licensing to medical exams may be new in the country, but has been in place for years in other parts of the world.
In New York, for example, if you lose the use of a leg, an arm, an eye or an ear, this information must appear on the driver’s license. These drivers are then only allowed to drive personalized vehicles. Similarly, if the driver’s hearing is not acceptable, a “hearing aid or mirror” restriction is added to the driver’s license. Those who wear hearing aids and do not pass the hearing test should use exterior mirrors.