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Sponsors: Rep. Barfield
Document Path: l:\council\bills\swb\5020cm07.doc
Introduced in the House on January 9, 2007
Currently residing in the House Committee on Education and Public Works
Summary: Bioptic telescopic lenses
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 12/13/2006 House Prefiled 12/13/2006 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works 1/9/2007 House Introduced and read first time HJ-53 1/9/2007 House Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works HJ-53
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 56-1-222 SO AS TO ALLOW CERTAIN PERSONS WHO WEAR BIOPTIC TELESCOPIC LENSES FOR VISION ASSISTANCE TO OBTAIN A DRIVER'S LICENSE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 1, Title 56 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 56-1-222. (A) Notwithstanding the provisions contained in Section 56-1-220, a person diagnosed with low vision acuity who uses bioptic telescopic lenses for vision assistance may be issued a driver's license by the Department of Motor Vehicles if the person:
(1) submits a vision report form that complies with subsection (B);
(2) submits proof that the applicant has been trained to operate a motor vehicle while wearing bioptic telescopic lenses as evidenced by having successfully completed a driver-training course or program that meets the criteria listed in subsection (C) for such programs; and
(3) meets all other qualifications for obtaining a driver's license, including passing the department administered road test wearing the bioptic telescopic lenses. A person applying for a driver's license pursuant to this section who fails to pass the road test after two attempts must present certification of completion of a driver-training course or program that meets the criteria listed in subsection (C) dated at least thirty days from the date the last road test was administered.
(B) An applicant for a driver's license who will use bioptic telescopic lenses for vision assistance while driving must submit a vision report form supplied by the department. The report must be completed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist qualified in the field of low vision care. The report must include the following information:
(1) the applicant's vital data;
(2) a diagnosis of the applicant's visual condition and the date of the onset of his visual impairment;
(3) the date the bioptic telescopic system was dispensed to the applicant;
(4) certification by the low vision care professional that the applicant:
(a) is not impaired in the movement of his eyes, head, or neck;
(b) has normal color vision;
(c) has visual acuity of at least 20/200 with the best conventional nontelescopic corrective lenses;
(d) does not have central field vision loss that exceeds five degrees;
(e) has visual acuity of at least 20/60 using the bioptic telescopic lenses;
(f) has a horizontal visual field diameter of not less than one hundred fifty degrees without the use of field expanders; and
(5) a statement concerning the stability of the applicant's condition.
An applicant who is issued a driver's license pursuant to this section must have the low vision report updated annually by an optometrist or ophthalmologist and submit it to the department for review. The eye care professional that examines the applicant and completes the annual report must indicate at the top of the report whether the applicant's vision condition has deteriorated in any way so that the applicant no longer meets the requirements of subsection (B)(4).
The department shall review the annual report submitted by the applicant. If the report indicates that the applicant no longer meets the requirements of subsection (B)(4), the department will immediately revoke the license held by the applicant. In order to be issued a new valid license the applicant must retake the department administered road test.
(C) A person applying for a driver's license pursuant to this section must complete successfully a driver-training course or program certified to train individuals to use bioptic telescopic lenses while operating a motor vehicle. To be certified as a bioptic telescopic lens driver-training course or program, the course or program must be administered by a certified driver rehabilitation specialist with a minimum of three years driver-training experience. The course or program must consist of the following minimum training requirements:
(1) operating a motor vehicle under the supervision of a driving instructor for a minimum of thirty hours;
(2) locating stationary objects within the telescopic field of view by aligning the object directly next to the telescopic lenses, and then moving the wearer's head and his eyes simultaneously to see the object with the telescope;
(3) locating a moving object in a large field of vision by anticipating future movement, so that by moving the wearer's head and eyes in a coordinated fashion he can locate the moving object within the telescopic field; and
(4) training in brief visual exposure with the deviation of exposure diminished constantly to simulate short-looking time while driving.
The applicant must apply for a driver's license and take the department road test within six months of having completed the bioptic lens driver-training program.
(D) The following driving restrictions apply to a person who has been issued a driver's license pursuant to this section:
(1) the driver may drive only during daylight hours, defined as after the hour of six o'clock a.m. and no later than six o'clock p.m. However, beginning on the day that daylight saving time goes into effect through the day that daylight saving time ends, the license holder may drive after six o'clock a.m. and no later than eight o'clock p.m.;
(2) the driver is permitted to travel on noninterstate roads and highways only; and
(3) the vehicle being operated by the driver must be equipped with both left and right side mirrors.
(E) Nothing in this section permits an applicant who uses bioptic telescopic lenses for vision assistance to apply for a license to operate a motorcycle or a commercial driver's license."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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