Reporting Medically Unfit Drivers
There are all sorts of medical conditions that can make it difficult to drive safely. Some medical conditions cause people to black out or have seizures. Other medical conditions impact a driver’s judgment. Other medical conditions impact vision. Any of these things can make driving dangerous.
In Ontario, medical doctors have a legal duty to report any patient 16 years of age or older who suffers “from a condition that may make it dangerous for the person to operate a motor vehicle”. The reports are to be made to the Ministry of Transportation.
The requirement to report medically unfit drivers exists to protect the safety of all users of the road. Unfortunately, some people will continue to drive despite having a medical condition that makes driving dangerous. Legally, a doctor cannot rely on his or her patient’s assurance that they aren’t driving. The law says that the doctor “shall” report anyone who has a condition that “may” make it dangerous for them to drive if they are 16 or older regardless of whether they are driving or not.
If a doctor fails to report a medically unfit driver and the unfit driver is involved in an accident because of his or her medical condition, the doctor may be liable to pay damages to people injured in the accident.
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