Examine epileptic drivers - Epilepsy SA

2012-08-15 07:27

Johannesburg - Epilepsy SA has urged epileptic drivers to have regular examinations by neurologists to prevent attacks behind the wheel.

On Tuesday, The Star reported that a 6-month old baby died on his mother's back when a metro police officer allegedly having an epileptic attack, crashed into them in Meadowlands, Soweto.

In another incident last year the same officer hit a wall on his way to work, while driving his own car.

"Epilepsy South Africa believes that the decision on whether or not someone with epilepsy should be allowed to drive should be at the sole discretion of the patient’s neurologist," ESA said in a statement on Tuesday.

The organisation said epileptic people ought to make the decision about whether it was safe for them to drive after careful consideration of both a doctor's advice and South African law.

According to the SA National Road Traffic Act (Regulations 99 and 102, section 15) you are not permitted to drive if you have uncontrolled epilepsy.

"The decision is based on the type and severity of seizures, and the degree to which they are controlled."

ESA said studies showed that people with uncontrolled seizures had an increased risk of having a car accident.

People whose seizures were controlled, however, did not have a significantly increased risk.

ESA advised that if a person changed or stop medication suddenly, they had to stop driving until the doctor advised they could do so again.

  • carpejugulim - 2012-08-15 07:40

    As commendable as the suggestion is how many people would be honest enough to follow that advice?

      suzanne.vandermerwe.90 - 2012-08-15 09:51

      Me. It can do no harm. It will be just another restriction - in the already very long list - of living with the disease. All people who do not suffer from this affliction, should be slow to judge... If fate dealt YOU this card, you too, might find that it only slows you down. It is all about a positive attitude and responsibilty.

  • Chavonne Le Roux - 2012-08-15 07:52

    and then why don't you check every driver who had something to drink because just maybe they will cause an accident! they are a bigger threat than epilepcy sufferers!

      marc.rule - 2012-08-15 08:03

      The danger can be the same for both epileptic and drunk drivers. They should not be on the road. And yes I was epileptic.

  • marc.rule - 2012-08-15 08:01

    IF you are epileptic and are a danger to others you should NOT have a driver’s license.

      shadung.raymond - 2012-08-15 08:39

      I sympathise with you boss!!

  • leslie.mcewanclemence - 2012-08-15 08:07

    As hard as it must be to be dependent, how much harder must it be to live with the knowledge that you killed someone because of pride.

  • veritas.odium.paret - 2012-08-15 08:23

    Just out of curiosity, if a person had no more than 5 seizures, all of which happened in infancy and hasnt had any for the next 25 years, is there any risk of a them ever making a cameo or coming back full time?

      veritas.odium.paret - 2012-08-15 08:44

      Even if his/her father had it but 'outgrew' his seizures much later in life (say in his teens for example)?

      bwdutoit - 2012-08-15 12:27

      Many young children with epilepsy will eventually outgrow the condition. After that, the person is at the same risk as anyone else of getting epilepsy later in life.

      bwdutoit - 2012-08-15 12:30

      There is not really enough research about inherting epilepsy from a parent. Currents stats is that chances are about 1%. It does happen, but it is definitely not the norm.

  • gladstone.dyonase - 2012-08-15 08:25

    I am epileptic and as far as my situation is concerned I can not risk mine and other peoples live and drive not any time soon. I know it can be very dificult for my fellow Dudes to accept but let us do the right thing, for the safety our roads.

  • craig.a.salter - 2012-08-15 09:48

    I am epileptic and it does have its chalanges. the law states that you must be 1 year seazure free in order to obtain a drivers license. I think that, that must change it should be 1 year seazure free with documentation from a doctor stating that the epilepcy is under control and that the person take his medication as perscribed and must have regular blood tests to check the levels.

  • alon.fisher.752 - 2012-08-15 10:57

    Epilepsy is medical condition that can be controlled responsibly by sufferers and their loved ones alike, the man obviously neglected his medical condition to an extent where a seizure became imminent. But alot of Epileptics can be responsible enough to manage their illness and do everyday stuff like everyone else.

  • Chavonne Le Roux - 2012-08-15 12:12

    i am not epileptic, but my husband is. i know all about the heart sore that people experience! he has not had a fit for nearly 2 yrs, and we are thankful for that. people are quick to judge. do they know that any person can experience it at any time of their life? without any warning? just asking what that would do to the test every one wants done.

  • bwdutoit - 2012-08-15 12:38

    Mind your language! Why do you focus on epilepsy, rather than the person. Calling people epileptics, rather than people with epilepsy? Do you call a person with cancer a "cantic". Please focus on the person, and not the condition - there is a huge pshyco-social difference. We are all people, regardless of our disability, inhibitors or personal problems. How would you like me to label you..?

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