Video: Woman who appears to be visually impaired gets behind wheel of car

Problem Solvers

Woman who appears to be visually impaired gets behind wheel of car

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DENVER — It is a sight that caught a FOX31 Denver news viewer by surprise.

He captured it on video, then emailed it to the Problem Solvers asking should a blind lady be driving?

To get a driver’s license in Colorado, you have to have at least 20-40 vision, which means the driver sees at 20 feet what a person with normal vision sees at 40 feet.

But what does it mean if you have a white cane to navigate your surroundings? Should you then get in a car and drive away? A customer at the Flying J truck stop couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“I’m like, ‘I think she got out of that car and now she’s acting like she’s blind,’” said the viewer, who did not want to be identified.

But he did want Problem Solvers to find out what’s going on.

“So we waited for her to walk out. When she walked out she was still using (the white cane) and I told my buddy, ‘I think I’ll record it. I think she’s going to get in and drive,” he said.

His video shows a woman with a white cane walking to her car door, unlocking it, then she makes her way inside the vehicle.

“I’m going to see if she gets in and drives off and she did,” he said.

“I would never in a million years get behind wheel no way,” said Ann Ramos of Denver.

Ramos has been legally blind since she was 3 years old and she doesn’t know a single vision-impaired person who drives.

“When you are vision impaired, your reaction time is way decreased, you don’t react quickly to someone pulling out in front of you,” Ramos said.

She also said a visually impaired driver couldn’t see driving lanes, turn lanes and potholes. She said if you need a cane to find a curb or a door to a business, you shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

“She’s in serious denial about limitations. She’s not thinking of the safety of others and herself,” Ramos said.

“Either way, it’s wrong. If she’s blind, she shouldn’t be driving. If she’s not blind, she shouldn’t be portraying she’s blind,” the viewer who recorded the video said.

Problem Solvers also learned if a person fails an eye test, an ophthalmologist can give a person a medical clearance, which would allow them to drive in certain situations such as only during the day, with extra side view mirrors, and only certain distances and speeds.

But generally, the visually impaired organizations said a visually impaired person should not be driving.

Visual impairment is 20-70 vision, way below the standard of 20-40 required by the state.

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