Despite the Centre ruling that persons with monocular vision - those who are legally blind in one eye - in the country are eligible to drive, the Tamil Nadu government is yet to implement such a rule and continues to not allow those with monocular vision to obtain a driverâ€™s license. Though many have cited that allowing persons with monocular vision to drive would pose a potential risk, several countries including the US and UK have lifted rules which would not allow such persons to drive.
Doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Department of Ophthalmology studied people with monocular vision before deciding that such persons could be given a driverâ€™s license if three conditions were met. First, they must have a horizontal visual field of 120 degrees or more. Second, their visual acuity in the non-affected eye must be at least 6/12. Lastly, the individual must have had adequate time to adapt to the loss of vision in one eye (6 months minimum).
Following the study, the Centre had asked all state governments to allow for permission of driving license to those who met the criteria. However, the Tamil Nadu government implemented the same quite late. Activists in the state have also claimed that RTOs in the state reject the applications of any monocular candidate.
However, many have claimed that people donâ€™t provide accurate certification. A senior RTO officer stated to TOI, â€śWe are ready to issue driverâ€™s license to people who bring medical certificates. But many monocular visioned people who approach us donâ€™t bring the certificate.â€ť
Former Director of the Government Ophthalmology Hospital stated that the field of vision for those with monocular vision is impaired slightly but that they do get adjusted to the same within time.