No less than three New York senators are debating the New York Department of Motor Vehicles decision to ban vision tests, when drivers renew their licenses. This change went into effect at New York DMVs across the state this past Wednesday.
In New York State, driver’s licenses must be renewed every 10 years or so, depending on the circumstances. With DMV currently planning to drop the need for an eye test during a driver’s license renewal, Senator James L. Seward, R-Oneonta, states DMV is being reckless. Obviously, during the years between renewing the license, there is plenty of time for the driver’s vision to change.
Spokesperson for DMV, Jackie McGinnis, disagrees. According to McGinnis, DMV has carefully researched the issue and considered the potential outcomes that could result.
During the years between 1993 to 2000 drivers were not required to be tested for vision. According to McGinnis, there were no negative outcomes regarding traffic safety.
The Senators that expressed concern over the issue have come out against the change. However, neither of the two Onondaga County senators has yet taken a stand.
A solution to find a medium between the customer convenience offered by DMV and public safety is currently being researched by Senator David Valesky, D-Oneida.
In the past, each New York State driver was required to take a vision examine at the DMV when renewing their license. The driver also had the option of submitting the results of their vision exams that were performed by their physicians.
With the change, vision exams are no longer necessary, and the only requirement is for the driver renewing their license to certify that they are not suffering from any vision problems. The driver also self-certifies that they are not suffering from heart ailments, hearing problems and other medical conditions that could impair their driving ability.
The change does not apply to those that hold their commercial license, and they will still need to take the medical and vision exams each two years when renewing their license.
Spokesperson for DMV, Jackie McGinnis, claims that the agency decided upon the change in order to offer drivers the availability of renewing their licenses online.
In the United States, there are currently 14 states that do not require vision
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