The Department of Land Transport (DLT) is preparing to amend a ministerial regulation to add five more sicknesses, including epilepsy, into the list of sick people ineligible to get a driving licence, said DLT director-general Sanit Promwong.
Mr Sanit said the move is proved necessary after a driver rammed a pick-up truck into vehicles running in an opposite direction in Pattaya, killing two people and wounding 15 others on Dec 4.
Akaradet Udomrat, the 44-year-old driver, who was holding a life driving licence, claimed he was suffering from an epileptic seizure.
Mr Sanit said that if in a medical examination the man was found to be actually suffering from an epileptic seizure, his driving licence would be revoked.
Kamol Buranaong, the DLT deputy director-general, said the DLT is in the process of amending a ministerial regulation to add five groups of diseases into the list of sick people ineligible to get a driving licence.
The five groups of diseases are: epilepsy, acute diabetes, hypertension, those having undergone a brain surgery and the heart disease.
He said the amended ministerial regulation is expected to be in force during January-February, 2018.
The Diseases Control Department had earlier outlined nine diseases which can affect the ability to drive and lead to accidents. They are eye disease, brain disease, cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes and diseases related to taking many kinds of drugs which can cause drowsiness while driving.
Udom Puwarodom, director of the Prasat Neurological Institute, said epilepsy is a chronic disorder in the brain, which causes two types of seizures�one with violent shaking and the other without shaking. Between 600,000-700,000 Thais are suffering from epilepsy. People suffering from the disease can lead a normal life if they regularly receive proper medical treatment.
People suffering from epileptic seizures should not be allowed to work with machines or to drive. In Thailand, those suffering from epilepsy are not yet banned by the law from driving.
The Prasat Neurological Institute and the DLT are consulting to make it a law that only those without suffering from epileptic seizures for a period of six months to one year can be allowed to drive, Dr Udom said.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)