time out

Luna următoare (septembrie 2007) se va împlini un an de când medicul oftalmolog Marius Cristian Nistor a pus verdictul de INAPT ŞOFER pe biletul de trimitere pentru verificarea vederii cromatice, marcând şi începutul demersului Discromatopsia şi drepturile cetăţeanului în România. În 29 iulie 2007 s-a împlinit o lună de la trimitrea către Comisia de Oftalmologie a scrisorii în care am cerut explicaţii şi argumente publice care motivează decizia de a considera discromatopsiile incompatibile cu calitatea de şofer amator. Luând în considerare timpul necesar scrisorii să ajungă la Bucureşti, dar şi cel necesar eventualului răspuns să vină înapoi spre Cluj-Napoca, şi acordând şi o săptămână de graţie, ajungem la o dată limită rezonabilă de 15 august, moment la care răbdarea noastră a ajuns la sfârşit. Anticipând lipsa unui răspuns în timp legal, şi epuizând mijoacele de acţiune posibile în România, am pregătit o petiţie care să fie trimisă Uniunii Europene în momentul expirării perioadei legale de răspuns. Mai jos se găseste textul petiţiei, aşa cum a fost trimisă astăzi, 15 August 2007, să ne poarte revendicările nebăgate în seamă de ai noştri dincolo de graniţele ţării.

Petition to European Union on Colorblind’s condition in Romania

Abstract. By the will of the legal authorities of Romania, its colorblind citizens (myself included) are not allowed to get a driver’s license, unlike any other EU country (and not only), to my knowledge. Given that all the efforts to solve the situation internally have failed, I turn to the ear of EU to ask for a bold recommendation that will help bring an end to this shameful discrimination.

Colorblindness is a mostly inherited genetic anomaly that affects an estimated 8 percent of white (European descent) male population, and about 0.5 of the females. In Romania, then, there would be about five hundred thousand adults (18+ years) with this condition whom by the existing laws[1] and ophthalmologic practice are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license.

A person affected by color-blindness (the term is highly misleading) cannot tell the difference between certain colors, usually close hues, but certainly sees some color (a different one that a normal-sight person sees). By the type of light-sensitive cone cell affected, color deficiencies are classified as follows:

  • deuteranopia – green blind (lacking green-sensitive cones, or, green-sensitive cones ‘understand’ the green as red)
  • deuteranomaly (the most common, ~5% of white males, myself included) – green weak, anomalous perception of green, shifted towards red
  • protanopia – red blind (lacking red-sensitive cones, or, red-sensitive cones ‘understand’ the red as green)
  • protanomaly – red weak, anomalous perception of red, shifted toward green
  • monochromacy – complete colorblindness, the color perception is limited to black, white and shades of gray

In September 2006, I was re-diagnosed with colorblindness, and the ophthalmologist verdict was “inapt for driving”. In short time I started to read and inform myself in detail on this color perception anomaly, and the condition of the colorblinds in other countries. With the help of a Romanian colorblind who lives in the United States, I wrote a document entitled “Colorblindness and the rights of the citizens in Romania”[2] where I presented the facts and asked for a reconsideration of the legal restrictions. I sent the document at a hospital in each of the 41 counties of Romania, to Romanian Ophthalmologic Society, to government’s Health Department and to four universities of medicine and pharmacy. I’ve sent the document through email to the main televisions, radios and newspapers. I received exactly two answers, one from an ophthalmologist (who agreed with my cause), and an official one from Health Department, where they told me that the document was handed to Ophthalmologic Commission (a Health Department consultative commission) for analysis and decision. The Ophthalmologic Commission did not bother to answer. After some months, I called its president, physician Monica Pop, who told me she did not even consider to answer because under no circumstance she would approve colorblinds to be drivers, as long as she decides, because of the many accidents (she maintains) that are caused by them, offering “strong” arguments such as a colorblind biker hitting a red car, supposedly because he did not see it (!?). However, American Academy of Ophthalmology says: “Studies show no association between color deficiency and reduced driving performance, and this component of visual sensory ability should not be included in vision tests to assess an individual’s ability to drive safely[3]. But the chief absurdity is a consequence of the latest legal updates in Romania[4], which makes possible for a Romanian (colorblind) to get a driver’s license in any EU country, license that is now automatically recognized in Romania, but (still) does not allow colorblinds to get a driver’s license in their own country.

Hoping to get other supporters for this cause, I wrote to the Center for Assistance for Non-government Organizations[5], Association for Defending Human Rights in Romania[6], also to the ophthalmologist that declared me inapt, modified some images to carry the message visually an posted it on an Internet group with over 6500 Romanians[7], and started threads of discussion on three Romanian (mostly driving-related) websites[8,9,10]. The responses were almost non-existent, except from the colorblinds on internet forums, who generally encouraged me to continue. Finally, I started a blog[11] to document in detail the history of this action. There I posted all the relevant information concerning colorblindness and the struggle to obtain freedom for colorblinds to be drivers. I also collected legislation excerpts or official positions from 5 countries (Holland, Canada and New Zealand, United States, Germany) that explicitly says colorblindness is not an obstacle for safe driving (at least for personal/non-commercial licenses).

In 29 June 2007, I sent a last letter to the Ophthalmologic Commission (and to the Romanian Ophthalmologic Society) to ask for arguments that motivate their decision not to allow colorblinds to be drivers. Allowing for a month for a possible answer to come, a week for the letter traveling time, and an extra ‘grace’ week, we get a date of about 15 August (today). Needless to say, I received no answer. This is the reason I appeal to SolvIt in this specific day. After trying all possibilities inside the borders of Romania, and getting in response mostly indifference and neglect (peculiarities of non-democratic governments – heritage of communism), I saw myself in the need of asking for help from outside.

The colorblinds legal condition in Romania is restrictive and ambiguous, and we lack even basic official public information from some professional ophthalmological society regarding the unavailable occupations, the effect on everyday life, and so on. To my knowledge there is no government program to test and inform pupils and students on colorblindness starting from an early age in educational institutions, to guide them in choosing their adult studies and careers. The impossibility of obtaining legally a driver’s license in Romania if one is colorblind is just the tip of the iceberg of problems concerning this widespread color vision anomaly, but solving just this could be the beginning of increased care from authorities and ophthalmologists for people that are affected.

I hope this petition succeeded to draw attention on the situation of people with color vision deficiencies, and will prompt a quick and positive reply, helping bring one more freedom for a significant number of Romanians, and add a new worthy trophy to the list of solved cases.

[1] http://discromat.wordpress.com/2007/07/11/ordinele-87-si-350/
An excerpt from two legal orders (87/2003 and 350/2003) which regulate the medical conditions for a person to be able to get a driver’s license

[2] http://tomoiaga.ro/discomat.html
“Discromatopsia şi drepturile cetăţeanului în România” (Colorblindness and the rights of the citizen in Romania)

[3] http://www.aao.org/education/statements/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=1208
American Academy of Ophthalmology – Vision Requirements for Driving

[4] http://codulrutier.ro
Romanian Driving Law. See Article 24

[5] http://www.centras.ro/
Website of Center for Assistance for Non-government Organizations

[6] http://www.apador.org/
Website of Association for Defending Human Rights in Romania

[7] http://groups.yahoo.com/group/romania_eu_list/message/44113
Visual message on Internet Discussion Group Romania EU List

[8] http://www.daciaclub.ro/Discromatopsia-si-drepturile-cetateanului-in-Romani-t68786.html
Dacia Club forum

[9] http://www.motociclism.ro/forum/index.php?showtopic=86376
Motorcyclist forum

[10] http://forum.softpedia.com/index.php?showtopic=152161&st=60&p=2688632&#entry2688632
General interest website forum

[11] http://discromat.wordpress.com
Sunt discromat şi vreau şofer (I’m colorblind and I want driver) – my (Vasile Tomoiagă) blog on colorblind’s condition in Romania


Avem şi confirmarea de primire:

Confirmare de primire a petiţiei


Erată:

Has the authority being complained about written to the applicant about the case? Yes.
What was the date of the last correspondence? 29/6/2007

Am înţeles întrebarea greşit, anume, data ultimei corespondenţe de la mine la autoritatea de care mă plâng, care este într-adevar 29 Iunie 2007. Întrebarea se referă însă la data ultimei corespondeţe primite de mine, care este 13 Martie 2007 (data poştei în Bucureşti), când am primit răspunsul de la Ministerul Sănătăţii.

Ataşamente:

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25 Responses to time out

  1. Galea Mircea says:

    Si ce ai rezolvat?

  2. Mircea, citeste mai departe, ca am explicat tot.

    Incepe cu:
    Raspuns SOLVIT
    si
    Confirmare primire petitie

  3. Pingback: Răspunsul Comisiei Europene la întrebarea scrisă a eurodeputatului Titus Corlăţean « Sunt discromat şi vreau şofer

  4. Pingback: Un discromat la Bruxelles « Sunt discromat şi vreau şofer

  5. Myrtone says:

    The likely reason that colourblind people are not permitted to drive in Romania is because of the need to recognise colour coded signals, usually traffic lights.
    Do you really think you can recognise these, let alone *just* *as* *well* as anyone else? Colour vision deficiency can make traffic signals harder to read (especially when viewed from a considerable distance) as one is forced to rely on position, which could result in eyestrain. Red might be darker than green, but still one cannot see as much difference if one is red green colour blind.
    On railways, they have colour coded signals like traffic lights and to my knowledge, nowhere in the world are colour blind people permitted to drive trains. This is despite the fact that different signal aspects also differ by position (there are exceptions), and, to my knowledge, red is darker.

  6. Please accept my apologies for my late reply.

    I will answer your poignant question “Do you really think you can recognize these, let alone *just* *as* *well* as anyone else?”

    Though I’m not sure it deserves to be answered.

    BY DEFINITION a colorblind person does not recognize these color coded signals *just* *as* *well* as anyone else, otherwise they would not be colorblind, right?

    I suppose you were just as aware as I am of this simple fact. So why did you leave this comment? I think you just want to affirm something, not to ask something.

    Nevertheless, I will answer.

    As you should know, there are about four types of color blindness. The most common of them are not at all blindness to some color, but weakness. Thus we speak about green-weak (as I am), read-weak and blue-weak. The daltonists are red-blind or green-blind.

    In my case, if you are interested in truth, I make a clear distinction between red an green, and it is very simple for me to discern between red and green traffic lights. I could test this in a year and a half driving my scooter and for 34 hours of driving lessons on an automobile. There was not a single moment of hesitation when I had to stop ar start the car.

    So the question is not if I recognize the traffic lights “*just* *as* *well* as anyone else”, but if I recognize them well enough not to endanger myself or others. And the answer, for green-weak, as I am, is a strong YES. This must be the case for red-weak (the most common form of colorblindness is green-weak). It may be harder for red- and green- blind, which lack the retina receptors for red respectively green color spectra.

    Now if you really cared for colorblinds, there are other way of helping them, like lobbying for enhancing traffic lights for color weak and/or color blinds.

    Have some ideas here: http://greymeansgo.blogspot.com/

  7. Myrtone says:

    “I suppose you were just as aware as I am of this simple fact. So why did you leave this comment? I think you just want to affirm something, not to ask something.”

    No, it’s a safety issue.

    “As you should know, there are about four types of color blindness. The most common of them are not at all blindness to some color, but weakness. Thus we speak about green-weak (as I am), read-weak and blue-weak. The daltonists are red-blind or green-blind.”

    “In my case, if you are interested in truth, I make a clear distinction between red an green, and it is very simple for me to discern between red and green traffic lights. I could test this in a year and a half driving my scooter and for 34 hours of driving lessons on an automobile. There was not a single moment of hesitation when I had to stop ar start the car.”

    Try reading colourlight train signals and see how well you can read them. You might think you can discern the red and green. I am interested in the truth but sometimes I assume overconfidence. If a colourblind driver ran a red light, I would assume colour vision deficiency to be a contributing factor.

    I would like to hear from a traffic safety expert who has compared that rates of red light running and accident rates of drivers with normal and deficient colour vision.

    “So the question is not if I recognize the traffic lights “*just* *as* *well* as anyone else”, but if I recognize them well enough not to endanger myself or others.”

    The more clearly you can distinguish them, the better.

    “And the answer, for green-weak, as I am, is a strong YES. This must be the case for red-weak (the most common form of colorblindness is green-weak). It may be harder for red- and green- blind, which lack the retina receptors for red respectively green color spectra.”

    And what is it for train signals similar to traffic lights. Try getting a copy of Microsoft train simulator, Railroad simulator, or some other train driving game and check it out.

    “Now if you really cared for colourblinds, there are other way of helping them, like lobbying for enhancing traffic lights for color weak and/or color blinds.”

    Do you want me thinking that driving is a right? How about trying to lobby to enhance train signals for colour weak and/or colour blind, I bet you won’t get far.
    Driving is not easy, and the task is complex. We think it is easy because it is a simple common thing. But driving a car, believe it or not, is harder than flying a plane. Just because I care for colourblinds (generally) does not mean I want them to be permitted to drive, at least not without a passenger helping them read colour coded signals, I feel there are other solutions to that. I could care for visually impaired people, should I help to make driving easier for them.
    Are you really wanting the legislation to change just so you can drive for transport? Or do you want some driving job?

    And I forgot to mention that Romania is not the only country which has this legislation, laws in Turkey and China also prohibit colourblind people from driving. Singapore also had this legislation until recently.

  8. Mr. Myrtone,

    You did not stated who you are, what you want, and why you care.

    For the second time you came here “overconfident” just affirming what you already believe and know.

    Being colorblind myself (green-weak), I could know better, sometimes, about what I can and what I can’t see, don’t you think?

    Driving is not a right, true. But neither leaving comments on blogs is a right.

    On this blog I did not hold comments for moderation, but you give me reasons to change my mind.

  9. Liviu says:

    As a colorblind person , I think Mr Myrtone is obviously harsh. I can only side with Mr Tomoiaga, for reasons I will explain below.
    I managed to get my driver license 18 years ago in Romania, after some borderline decision (“partial dichromacy” diagnostic). I was 20 at the time and that’s how I found out about this visual deficiency I got. In retrospect, I was lucky, because I did some extensive self-testing recently and passed no more than one third of Ishihara tests). Ten years ago, I emigrated to US and needless to say, I’ve been driving some … All in all I drove about 250.000Km, enough for a few conclusions, I’d say. I drove at night for hours, I drove in storms, drove at high speeds, traveled across US twice, and not once I had any trouble with stop lights or stop signs in general. I never felt that my deficiency has put me or other traffic participants at risk.

    One more detail: my brother is also colorblind (according to the doctors, in a more severe form than mine), lives in the EU, drove just as much as I did and had no problem either. And the examples may continue.

    My personal experience, along with research in a lot of developed countries show no reason why Romania stubbornly refuses to align itself with the EU on colorblind specific legislation.

  10. Liviu, thanks for sharing your experience. I am a driver for 6 months now and obviously have no problem with trafficl lights or car colors. My brother, a colorblind like me has hundreds of thousands of km driven, he drives daily to work in Italy. He drove Romania-Italy and back many times and no problems.

    Romania must and will align itself with EU on colorblind restrictions/rights, it just needs some kicks.

  11. JT says:

    Vasile

    I’m not colourblind, but my partner is, and I have never had the feeling that he is unable to differentiate traffic colour signals in time to stop. The regulation in Romania seems rather backward. Myrtone is simply being reactionary here — his arguments do not hold weight.

    Good luck with getting these regulations changed. My experience has been that a popular movement (for example, the formation of a colourblind alliance online), combined with media coverage, is the best way of moving such things forward.

    Jonathan

  12. JT, I never thought of creation an online “alliance” online. It may be a good idea.

  13. Myrtone says:

    Oh yes, the reason I was “reactionary” is because of a misunderstanding. I now realise that your colour deficiency is milder than I previously thought, which is why I thought you were overconfident.
    I now realise that green-weak people do distinguish the colours red, yellow and green almost as clearly as I do, but what I would perceive as green looks bluish to them because their green channel is shifted towards yellow, this means you could supposedly distinguish a few other colours that look alike to me such as pure Chartreuse light from a similar mix of red and green.
    So you would indeed rely primarily on colour to distinguish traffic lights and not on position like I thought. And because you are green weak and some other licensee is not does not mean they are inherently more capable of driving than you mostly because there are many other variables that affect ones driving by *much* more than colour vision.

    From Colblindor regarding protanopia:
    “There are a number of studies which show that color vision deficiencies are a serious risk factor in driving. Particularly protan color blindness reduces substantially the ability to see red lights, regardless of the severity of the defect. Tests showed that protans were very much over-represented in an accident causing group of drivers mostly involving either signal lights or break lights. Some scientists estimate that being a protan has associated with it a level of risk of road accident that is equivalent to having a blood alcohol level of between 0.05 and 0.08 per cent. Because of that for example in Australia you can’t get hold of a commercial drivers licence since 1994 if you are suffering from protanopia or protanomaly.”

    What I am not sure of is what is meant by “signal lights,” whether they mean traffic lights or directional indicators.

  14. Cosmin says:

    Driving is a right for as long as roads are built with your money, otherwise you should be tax exempt.

  15. @Cosmin

    No, it is not a right, it is a privilege for those fit enough for it. But colourweakness is too little of a factor to impede one for being a good driver. I drive for a year now and I can tell it firsthand.

    One thing authorities can do is make the world colourweak-friendly. Traffic Lights (semaphores) with hues that are more easy to distinguish by us, testing for the colourweakness in school at early age, career guidance are a few essential directions.

  16. Myrtonos says:

    “But colourweakness is too little of a factor to impede one for being a good driver. I drive for a year now and I can tell it firsthand.”

    This is the experience of a green-weak person. Refer to my post above about red-weakness and red-blindness. It would also be helpful to mention visual acuity as this can make a bigger difference. It may be that if you have 20/20 vision (or especially better), green-weakness is little of a factor but becomes more of a factor at lower visual acuity levels.

    In the case of traffic lights, when considering the milder types, such as green-weaknes, doesn’t saturation matter more than hue. And that’s where LED traffic lights are at an advantage. My understanding is that LED traffic lights emit higher contrast colour light than older types of traffic light and also have other advantages.

  17. Vasile says:

    In medical tests doctors did not mention anything about visual acuity so I think it is normal.

  18. Chris says:

    I want to say to Vasile and Myrtone, you are both arguing about details and missing the point. Every other European Union country, the United States to name a few, allow the color blind to drive. In Japan and Canada they decide based on the severity, not a blanket ban. Every country came to these conclusions independently. These are the richest most technologically advanced countries in the world. Myrtone, you are really going to cite Chinese law to make your point? A country where corruption is punishable by death and protesting lands you in jail? You’d trust a Chinese doctor over a Swede or a Canadian one? Vasile is right when he says you are just making a statement, not discussing or asking. You present opinion as fact, but when it comes down to it, the dozens of governments of advanced industrialized countries and the enormous medical apparatuses that they have developed and that have already ruled on this have opinions that matter much more than yours. This is blatant discrimination in Romania and it is supported by people like you who cannot discern fact from preference. Just because you think it, does not make it so. Good luck Vasile, I’m not color blind, I just stumbled upon this, but I find it appalling what is going on.

  19. Myrtonos says:

    Chris, I explanied above why I was “reactionary,” and I later realised I misunderstood. Actually, some US states do requrie drivers to have adequate colour vision, but anyone who can make all the basic colour distictions would probably count as adequate.
    The posts you are reffering to are from last year and the misunderstanding has since been cleared up. Japan and Canada are both highly developed and technologically advanced, especally the former. Thailand, which is a democracy (costitutinal monarchy) and does not have any of China’s political problems, does also requrie drivers to pass a colour vision test, but I’m not sure whether it is a blanket ban or just based in sevirity.
    And if I were in charge, yes even I would prefer to basing it on severity over a blanket ban. I know that train drivers have their colour vision checked regularly, but again, I’m not sure whether the requriments are based on severity or if there is a blanket ban, which would exclude colourweaks, note that the colours used on railway signals are the same as on traffic lights.

  20. Myrtonos says:

    The British Auto Cycle Union has a page on medical matters and here is what they say regarding colour vision:

    Question: When my optician tested me with a special book called “Ishi something” she said I was red/green colour blind. Does this prevent me from having a licence?

    Answer: Not necessarily. 10-15% of the male population have what we call red/green colour weakness. This means that the very sensitive Ishihara colour plates in the book will show you are unable to detect subtle differences between red and green. Whilst failure would prevent you from being an airline pilot, it does not prevent you having an ACU or FIM licence as long as you are able to distinguish the primary colours of red and green.

    As a red flag is normally very red and a green flag normally very green, even if you are red/green colour weak, you would not normally have a problem in detecting the difference. Even if you are red/green colour weak, you would still be able to tell the difference between blue, yellow, black and white flags.
    Just remind the optician or doctor doing your test that examination using Ishihara plates is too sensitive for our purposes and that you just need to be able to tell the difference between basic primary red and green.

    I’m sure that if the races were held in Romania, colourweaks would not be able to get an FIM or ACU license despite making a clear distinction between signaling flags.
    Fact is that many juristicnions (Thailand and Dubai to name two) do require drivers to pass a colour vision test, but as far as I know they are much more specific about what colour disticntions drivers are requried to make. I checked and Thailand only requries a clear distiction between the colours red, yellow and green, as used on traffic lights, so many colourweaks would pass. Thailand also tests visual field, depth perception and reaction time.

    Colorblindness is a mostly inherited genetic anomaly that affects an estimated 8 percent of white (European descent) male population, and about 0.5 of the females. In Romania, then, there would be about five hundred thousand adults (18+ years) with this condition whom by the existing laws[1] and ophthalmologic practice are not allowed to obtain a driver’s license.

    Five hundred thousand doesn’t sound like much, though it could be a pretty large chunk of the Romanian population. Also, most of this group only have weakness to a colour, not blindness, and most common is green weakness. So one would expect you to only have a handful of daltonists in your population, combine this with low car usage rates typical of former communist countries and one is unlikely to find a sound reason to accomodate daltonist drivers. I do wonder whether low car usage rates have anything to do with Romania’s refusal to aline with other EU countries.
    You said somewherelse (as I discovered using Google’s webpage translator) that you have better distance judgement than you wife, could that be part of the reason you want driving?
    Could it be that most of Romana’s “colourblind” citizens live in urban areas (sevred by transit in the form of trolleybusses and trams) and so aren’t as weighed up as being declared “inapt for driving?”

  21. Mike says:

    Well being a colorblind Canadian, I find it appalling that simply because of Colorblindness someone would be neglected the ability to drive.

    I am currently attempting to allow my country the ability for their to be colorblind police officers. Such as Australia which allows colorblind police, I don’t see how, some countries allow police officers to be color deficient yet in Romania you may not drive.

    Good luck, and I hope you may succeed.

  22. Myrtonos says:

    First of all Mike what does “colourblind” mean in this case? Total colourblindness (achromotopia) is rare and liked to poor visual acuity (cones are needed to discern fine detail as well as distinguish colours). Most common as Mr. Tomoiagă noted above in not blindness to any colour but a weakness, most common is weakness to green. This weakness rarely causes real word problems with identifying colour, the most common confusion is between dark green and black. Another one is blue vs mauve. But these are very subtle colour distinctions that are rarely relevant in life. Basic colour distinctions (such as between red yellow green and blue), are all that’s needed for most real world colour identifications. But in the context of being a police officer, they can be important at identifying a suspect, imagine a police officer trying to report a thief but unsure as to whether the shirt was blue or mauve.
    I suppose your issue is the need to pass the Ishihara test to be employed as a police officer, but that test is extremely sensitive, so much so that one may fail the test even if having no previous history of problems identifying colour.
    However, while it is well known Deuteranomaly (and Protanomaly) do reduce the ability to make certain (fine) colour distinctions, what is less well known, but makes sense when you consider what causes them, is that they increase ability to make other colour distinctions, specifically certain shades of khaki. I note that in a reply to this article.

  23. Mike says:

    So my ability to mix some blues/purples (which is what I mix up) would hinder my ability to place identity descriptions? I don’t know exactly what you are asking or if you are just arguing.

    Both my parents are in the Canadian federal police force (RCMP) and know colorblind members, I simply don’t think colorblind (or color deficient) members should have to cheat or worry about being disqualified because of colorblindness or color deficiency. The Canadian border patrol (CBSA) allows colorblindness and does not even test for it, what if someone drives away or runs away from one of them along the US border? Sure they might screw up the shirt color. These are RASH decisions by medical professionals that simply don’t attest for the fact that there is NO proof that the ability to distinguish between any color actually would hinder my ability to keep a community safe. I’d like to think that my ability to make quick and effective decisions through superior decision making skills is more important then my ability to tell you the color of someones shirt (which they can change a minute later).

    The Western Australian Police Force a force of almost 10, 000 Police officers, does not test for colorblindness. Australia does not seem to be falling apart or crime sky rocketing.

    OH and I should add someone stated Canada test for colorblindness to get their drivers license somewhere in this “response section”. Any Canadian get there drivers license only factor is actual vision acuity not color distinction. Most of Canada (Quebec and eastward) have special traffic lights with symbols/colors so both normal vision and colorblind people (regardless of severity) may drive.

    - Mike

  24. Mike says:

    Myrtonos , I also would like to add that I do not want you to feel that I am being hostile towards you, and I am sorry if you feel I am!

    Just a discussion.
    :)

  25. Myrtonos says:

    So my ability to mix some blues/purples (which is what I mix up) would hinder my ability to place identity descriptions? I don’t know exactly what you are asking or if you are just arguing.

    The point is (so it seems) is that a police officer needs to be very precise about visual details when reporting a suspect at a police station, what if the police oficer is unsure as to whether the suspects trousers are blue of mauve. But like I said, your ability to identify colours in the real world is what really matters. Your ability to distiguish between red, yellow, green and blue is obviously more important, though I can see why your ability to make quick and effective decisions through superior decision making skills is even more important.

    OH and I should add someone stated Canada test for colorblindness to get their drivers license somewhere in this “response section”. Any Canadian get there drivers license only factor is actual vision acuity not color distinction. Most of Canada (Quebec and eastward) have special traffic lights with symbols/colors so both normal vision and colorblind people (regardless of severity) may drive.

    I don’t suppose that stereopsis is included either, what are the minimum visual acuity that all (non-commercial) drivers are to have, here in Australia, it is 20/40 in at least one eye (the average for a healthy eye is between 20/16 and 20/12), and the minimum visual field is 120 degrees.

    Another issue that you raise is that the design of signs, signals and markings affect what colour distictions one needs to make to be able to drive safely and accoridng to the rules. So allowing colour defficient people to drive places constraints on the design of safeworking facilities. I have been wondering whether the equivalent is the case with other visual impariments. Stereoblindness does not reduce your ability to read signs, signals or markings, and tunnel vision similarly does not reduce your ability to read ones within your remaining sight. But stereoblindenss reduces your ability to judge distances. So, if all other areas of visual ability are equal, a stereoblind person will have no more difficulty than a stereo acute person going straight through or maybe even making a nearside turn on a green light, and certainly not with making turns on green arrows. But a stereoblind driver may have (more) difficulty with permissve turns across oncoming traffic, and a reduction in visual field may make uncontrolled intersection more difficult.
    Thus if people with reduced visual field and/or depth perpection are allowed to drive, they need to be considered when deciding where to put traffic lights and which light controlled intersection need separate turning phases, and which unprotected intesections (other than roundabouts) should distinguish between the major and minor roads.
    Even the road rules themselves (including give way rules) need to suit the (visual and cogantive) abilities of all drivers. In all right side driving conutries the rule for oppisite direction traffic is and always has been, when turing left, give way to (don’t get in the way of) anything that moves. The rule for left turing vehicles facing right turing traffic is the same as the rule for right turing vehicles facing straight ahead traffic. Those turing right are not requried to give way to any opposite direction traffic, reguardless of whether or not any opposite direction vehicle is turing left, but are requried to give way to pedestrians crossing the side street. So if you are taking a left turn, and you see a vehicle coming towards you, you instantly know you are required to give way, with two exceptions:

    *If turning left at a four way intersection, you know you are not required to give way to the vehicle coming towards you if and only if you recognise their intention to turn right (or their left), going the other way.
    *If turning onto and road with multiple lanes per direction, and turn into the outside lane, you know you are not requried to give way if you recognsie the other drivers intention to turn either left or right, if they are going the same way as you, they should neither turn into your lane nor cross your path.

    In both situations, the other vehicle with swing around the corner regaurdless of whether you recognise their intention to turn, if you don’t, than you simply wait as if giving way.

    Futhermore, if two vehicles approaching in opposite directions and turning in the same direction arrive at the intersection at approximately the same time, the correct order to proceed (assuming no volountary yielding) is right turn before left turn, no matter how many lanes per direction there are on the destination street, whether there is straight ahead traffic following the right turning vehicle.

    But in New Zealand, which drives on the left, they had a rule earlier this year where those turing left were to give way to those turing right unless the side street has more than one lane per direction. Those turning right were still to give way to straight ahead traffic, so therefore they had one rule for right turning vehicles facing straight ahead traffic and the opposite rule for right turing vehicles facing left turning traffic. That was two different give way rules anyone driving in New Zealand to remember. Add that the additional demands that it places on drivers (as I have already implcitity mentioned), and you can imagine why the give way rule was changed on 5am on March 25. Nevetheless barely more than half of the locals supported the rule change and many thought not all driver did apply the rule without any problem, and no visual (or cognative) impaiments were explicityl mentioned in the reasons given for changing the rule.

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