GEORGE TOWN: Those with learning disabilities can drive provided they are sane, able to make good judgement and have a reasonable IQ, a veteran driving instructor told FMT.
He said these factors were tested at all road transport department (JPJ) offices.
“All disabled applicants are usually put through a series of tests to see if their judgement and intellect are sound.
“I have trained a handful of slow learners in my time. What they lack in learning, they transfer it into handling cars. They are usually good at driving.
“Some are even better than their able-bodied counterparts, practising defensive driving more than usual.
“I would rather worry about drivers who have cases of epilepsy, and those who drive under the influence,” the instructor who wanted to remain anonymous told FMT yesterday.
The instructor was asked to comment on the news of the 19-year-old teen who mowed down nine vehicles, killing one while driving on the wrong side on the North-South Expressway on Tuesday.
Police say the teen was a holder of an “OKU Card”, with the classification of someone with learning disabilities. A welfare department official told FMT the card was real and was registered under her name since she was 13.
Meanwhile, a senior official with the Penang JPJ confirmed what was said by the instructor, saying slow learners can obtain a driving licence in due course.
“But before anything begins, an IQ test would be conducted, verbally or written, to determine if a person is fit for driving.”
“Then, a medical doctor’s certification that he or she can drive is required,” the official told FMT.
The JPJ officer said if a slow learner fails the computerised highway code three times, a special verbal exam with cue cards would be conducted instead.
“We often see people with attention deficit do well with driving but fail the highway codes. This is what we have observed.” -FMT