My name is Vasile Tomoiaga and I am a citizen of Romania.
The reason I contact you is to report the situation of colorblind persons in my country. As you may easily find, about 8% of the male population of European descent has this genetically inherited minor disease that cannot aggravate nor heal during lifetime. In most of the countries that I know of (including USA) there is absolutely no problem to get a non-commercial driver license if you have this medical condition. But Romanian laws and medical practice disallows colorblind individuals to obtain a driver’s licence. I have tried repeatedly to contact the persons responsible of this situation to have them know of the absurdity of the situation (another European Union colorblind driver can travel in Romania with his car with absolutely no problem, and a Romanian can get the license in a EU country and have it valid in Romania, but this does not apply for Romanians in their country!) but the responses were almost nonexistent, my guess is because we are still tributary to the communist mindset where the citizen should shut up and not dare to question the established regime.
Finally I have addressed a petition to European Commission, but things are going slowly there too.
The media in Romania that I have contacted ignored the problem completely.
What lacks is a authoritative voice that should just ask the question publicly and generate a public debate and awareness of the situation. This would be a good beginning.
I would like to mention that Romanian colorblinds still get a driver’s license eventually bribing the doctors.
Here’s what American Academy of Ophthalmology states: „Some states test color vision, anticipating that it is important for identifying traffic signals accurately, but drivers with color deficiencies successfully use clues other than color. 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.” (link: http://www.aao.org/education/statements/loader.cfm?url=/commonspot/security/getfile.cfm&PageID=1208)
I decided to send you this email after reading parts of Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Romania (http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100580.htm).
With the hope that you can do something about this discrimation affecting about half a million adults,
Officially ineligible to drive.