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Should epileptic drivers be allowed to drive?

Original post made by Truth on Jul 16, 2012

Let's start by stating driving is a privilege and not a right. If someone has epilepsy should they be able to drive? If they have a seizure and kill someone what are the consequences? What is the DMV doing about drivers who have been proven to have epilepsy and are still driving? What are your thoughts?

Comments (35)

Posted by Gullible N00b, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Well gee, looks like I found some bait! I wonder if I should swallow it?


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)


Posted by family guy, a resident of Canyon Meadows
on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:43 am

I feel for people with epilepsy. Their struggle is not to be taken lightly. I also have a family and I don't want it to be hurt by someone who has a seizure while they are driving. As my parents told me long ago, driving is a right, not a privilege. The declaration of independence does not say "life, libery, and the right to drive". Nowhere is the right to drive guaranteed. If you have a medical condition that precludes you from driving safely, then you shouldn't be allowed to drive.

I have been told that one must be seizure-free for 6 months, and take a blood test to show active, therapeutic levels of anti-seizure medication to be allowed to drive. The problem with that is, the doctor must rely on the patient to give accurate information. I know of a guy who got his license suspended for epilepsy, only to get his license back, all the while he was posting videos of his continuing seizures on YouTube. I don't want people driving who have seizures. It's just not safe.


Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 17, 2012 at 8:44 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Driving with any medical condition should be restricted. As long as some medically impaired people don't take their responsibility seriously, other drivers on the road will be in danger of being an innocent victim.
One of my friends had his car totalled by a diabetic who neglected to take her insulin shot before getting behind the wheel. Luckily, he had no permanant injuries. The woman had her license suspended, but is probably back out on the road by now.


Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Jul 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

I agree with the previous poster. The government should take DNA samples as part of the application process for a driver's license and also do a thorough review of each person's medical records. This will drive down costs, keep our streets safe, and ensure that those with inferior genes or pre-existing conditions be denied licenses. This will also ease traffic congestion and keep America from becoming a nanny state.


Posted by Betsy W., a resident of Birdland
on Jul 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

I believe the DMV already has a series of laws and vehicle codes in place to deal specifically with both recurrent, spontaneous and past episodes of either epileptic or grand maul seizures.

Web Link

I know that if you have had a severe seizure requiring medical care or hospitalization the DMV will automatically revoke your license for one year.

The real "fishing" question would be how to deal with Narcolepsy and other forms of sudden onset psychological disorders.


Posted by me, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:14 am

ABout 15 years ago, my (ex)brother-in-law was diagnosed with epilepsy and he was not allowed to drive for at least a year. I don't remember the details but I think he had to be seizure free.

I feel bad for these people. It's hard enough to manage a disease like that. But I think they would feel worse if they had an episode and hurt or killed someone (Or themselves).

My brother was a diabetic and as a teen he got a speeding ticker and his license was taken away for twice the normal time since he was 'a risk to the road'. I don't think that is quite fair either. His diabetes had nothing to do with his lead foot. Diabetics should be checking their sugar EVERY time they get behind the wheel and should not drive if their sugar is below 100. I agree their priviledges should be suspended if they are not doing that.

It stinks to have diabetes or epilepsy but it isn't right to put others at risk either.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Why not anyone with high cholesterol or on blood pressure meds, stents, bypass surgery? Stressed/angry divorcees? Someone who just got fired? We should be cautious about being overly cautious.





Posted by huh?, a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:44 am

Kathleen, the topic here is epilepsy and/or other seizure disorders. I don't think it's over cautious to not want people on the road that suffer from a condition where they lose consciousness. Save the slippery slope argument for another topic.


Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:47 am

PW staff, is there any way to add an "ignore" feature so we don't have to keep reading Kathleen's off-topic and illogical posts?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:50 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Okay, just wondering where the line gets drawn. I'll leave you to it.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:02 am

I think Kathleens' opinion is just the best. After all, IF YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT, if we prevent epilepsies from driving, next things we'll be preventing some body with high blood pressure or some body who just got fired. And then their will be mental fitness tests. All sounds tiranical to me.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:31 am

AND WHOSE GOING TO GIVE THE MENTAL EXAMS? THE MENTALLY DISEASED LIBERALS THATS WHO. THEY BAIT US WITH CONCERNS ABOUT EPALEPSY WHEN THEY REALLY WANT TO TEST POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. NEXT THEY'LL BE TRYING TO KEEP REPUBLICANS AWAY FROM THE POLLS WITH ALL KINDS OF PHOTO IDS AND MENTAL TEST SCORES.


Posted by the line, a resident of Oak Tree Acres
on Jul 17, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Where does the line get drawn? I don't know, but I do that wherever it's drawn, seizure disorder should be on the side of the line where they don't get to drive.

should blind people get to drive?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

If someone is epileptic and is on medication and their doctor agrees they are fine to drive, then they should be allowed to drive (I know two people in this position). I also know someone who took heart medication (incorrectly dosed at the time) who had an accident (no one hurt, thankfully). What are the statistics for epileptics causing deaths while driving? Every life is precious, but the two people I know seem to understand when they don't feel well enough to drive and so they don't at those times.

Blind people will be able to "drive" if the Google car is ever a reality.


Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Jul 17, 2012 at 1:45 pm

What about people who have a severe addiction to giving their opinions? Should they be allowed on the information highway?

PW staff, PLEASE come up with some sort of "ignore" button or filter or something!


Posted by Nurse Shark, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 17, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Ignore Staceleen? Perish the thought! Who else happens to have first-hand insight on the entire breadth of human experience? Who else "knows someone" who happens to anecdotally support every stance she takes, from French high-speed rail to the inner secrets of Gene's Fine Foods union workers?

Having Staceleen on this forum is like getting a week's worth of Dilbert "Topper" comics every day: Web Link


Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

"About 44,027 US drivers die each year in car crashes. Only 86 of these death certificates (0.2%) listed seizures or epilepsy as a contributing factor. Alcohol caused 156 times more driver deaths than seizures. Young drivers (age 16 to 24) died in accidents 123 times more often than drivers of any age who crashed due to a seizure. The driver fatality crash rate for the general population was 2.6 times higher than epilepsy-related driver fatalities. This is because seizures rarely cause crashes, but alcohol use, driver error, or road conditions often do. "

Web Link

I'm thinking low-priority issue, folks.

Mike


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Right--nurse shark, fake steve, mr. mittens, and the troll by many a name post everywhere all the time.


Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Gaah! Back again and agitating again! Ignore! Ignore!


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Thanks for the data Mike.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

What are the chances that one of thoughs 86 deaths might be you or a member of your family? Not a chance! Kathleen is right, right, right. Thats' why seatbelts and motorcycle helmuts are just liberal deseased rooses to make us subordanate ourselfs to the wims of the state. Next their going to make us where house helmuts when we're on the computer. Your probably on there cameras right now.

Keep giving it to them Kathleen. Your the bright spot on the shining armor.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Don't you get a brain cramp from all the misspelling? Of the 86 deaths, how many knew they had epilepsy (i.e., was this their first seizure)? Were all 86 deaths others or were some of them just the driver who had the seizure?

The point is the laws are already in place for those with epilepsy and those drivers must work with their doctors and the DMV. That should be enough. I hope that is the case for others who may have issues driving because of their meds or medical conditions.

Seat belts and helmets (not required in all states) are freeing you of the responsibility of being freely responsible for yourself.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Yep,Kathleen hits the nail on the head. "Seat belts and helmets (not required in all states) are freeing you of the responsibility of being freely responsible for yourself." Especially kids. See, I don't want some nanny state telling parants they have to buckle up there kids. It's taking away the self responsibility of the driver and it doesn't give kid passengers the right to die while basketing in their parant's freedom. Live and die in freedom is what the Founders said. And kids should learn how to die early if there to appreciate our destinktive freedom.

And the "lives" so called saved by manditory seatbelts? There not really lives, because who can say a life is a life when there shackeled to a mandatory seatbeat? People dont no how to live and die any more. Like I say, there sheeple, and there overcome with liberal mental desease.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

One explanation, by John Stossel, of how people and the market might make decisions if not made to make those decisions by government: Web Link I like the air bags and seat belts, and we don't leave the driveway until everyone has buckled up. Got the spouse the first cycling helmet--nobody made me; it just made sense. To believe the government, none of us will choose these safety options of our own accord.

So, I'm okay with drivers and their personal physicians determining one's ability to drive, and I trust a physician will contact the DMV as required if it is determined the person is not fit to be behind the wheel.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

I really really like Stossel. And the fervint reader Kathleen is just genius. They treat every body just like an adult. Even kids. So, see, just like in the 1950s and 60s, if parants are'nt FORCED to put there kids in safety seats, they will do it anyway. The kids don't need help from any body, and especially goverment. Because even infants, like there idiot parants, can think for themself. And if a 2 year-old wants to car traval without a safety seat, or if the 2 year-olds' parants says its okay, than the infant is free of his own volition. Gimme liberty, and I'll take death too. Patrick Henri said that.

We free loving libertarians got it all figured out. We base every thing on the individual and individual choice. Infants dont really exist, or if they due we put them entirely at the mercy of there parents. And if there parants dont' put them in safety seats? Well, that's there right to do with there kid what they want do. Aside from abortion, who are we to tell parants what to do with there kids?


Posted by mittenless, a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2012 at 8:31 am

troll (fake steve), as always, thanks so much for your insightful and well thought out commentary. Your valuable input serves to open the eyes of those reading these forums and educates us all as to why it's so important to have studied politics at an elite, liberal institution.
Please dismiss all those naysayers who consider your comments to be the equivalent of textual diaharea...we all know better and look forward to your continued information purges.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Fake Steve, To use your logic, if we want to be absolutely certain that every child is safely buckled in--have to make changes to buses, including school buses, trams, trains, BART--mostly no seat belts now--and properly educated and will grow to be a perfect citizen (let's say that will by your standards of measurement), then by all means take them at birth, being sure to thank the parents for their contribution to society, and let the government raise them for us--Gattaca like. Probably wouldn't have to ever worry about someone with epilepsy being allowed to drive either.


Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Jul 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

Kathleen, please stop. You are not elevating the discourse on this site, you are dragging it into the muck with your needy ego and increasingly unreasonable and logic-defying attacks. If you can't leave the house (sorry, I don't know what specific ailment keeps you shut in), how about taking up knitting or cat hoarding or something? It would be really nice not to have to live with the rude, noisy neighbor you've become on this forum.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 18, 2012 at 9:03 am

I see, so Stacyleen thinks (1) state mandated car seats for kids are bad because they threaten our LIBERTY (and besides there are'nt no seat belts for kids on school busses) and (2) we become really really tirannized when the state mandates seatbelts on school busses. Yes, we are so very threatened by the state, Stacyleen, as so many of us like you are more than willing to let kids die for the sake of parants' indivisable rights to neglect there children's safety any which way they like. But like I said, Stacyleen and other airyoodite thinkers like the Fox Business Commentator, Stossel, believe parants can spank, hit, tie to a chain, even keep kids strapped down on top of car, because PARANTS HAVE RIGHTS to do what they wish with there property. Now, where do all these liberal mental deseased loons get off saying we are dumb and sick? I'll let Stachyleen find a FOX opinion peace link to help us with that one. Give em heck, Stacyleen!


Posted by Not a troll, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

I'm just going to chime in to note that the OP may not have done their homework on the subject BEFORE posting. All states (and even Canada) have standards which preclude individuals with various medical conditions like epilepsy from getting driver's licenses. I am curious why the OP would post a question like this? As I recall, from a family member who was diagnosed with epilepsy pre-teen, they have to have a doctor's signature that the epilepsy is under control by medication for at least a year without a seizure.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 18, 2012 at 10:08 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Stossel started at ABC; remember, I don't watch Fox--Newshour on PBS at least presents both sides on most issues they cover. No one is advocating for the lies you posted fake steve.

Not a troll, I would agree that the right approach (doctor/DMV) is already in place.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Jul 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

I've told no lies, and your trying to wiggle out of your engenius ways of thinking Stacyleen. Nice try. And whose the fake?

I bet some of us would really like to here just what then you claim to be advocating. You seem more interested in Stossel (crush factor?) then kids or there oppressed parants.

Whenever I approach a morel problem, like Stacyleen, I go straight to the source: Fox News (which, did'nt you know, employees people who worked in other media companies). Then, if Im challenged, I just deny what I said and look for another objective source, like Fox, Weasel Zippers, and others.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 18, 2012 at 10:52 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Gosh you are tiresome fake steve. On the issue of issuing a driver's license to someone diagnosed with epilepsy and on proper medication and under a doctor's care (who can subsequently report to the DMV if there are problems)--it's sufficient.

As to child restraints, car seats, booster seats, seat belts--I would have chosen those (as I did with the bike helmet before there was a law) options when they were available. Didn't need the nanny state to tell me to do it.

Now run off and tackle buses, school buses, Muni, BART, trains in general, and probably HSR so you can make sure everyone is buckled up. Maybe even on our sofas--lotta scary television out there!


Posted by Some Dude, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 18, 2012 at 11:34 am

Obsessive/compulsive forum poster Kathleen calling others tiresome? Kathleen, do you ever evaluate your own behavior? Many people on this site seem to be exasperated with your cyber-squatting on this forum, yet you never seem to hear a word of what they're trying to tell you. For your own sake, please walk away for a couple of days so you can recalibrate your perspective and priorities.


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