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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: May 31, 2017 10:18 AM
From: Senator Kim L. Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: Medical Reporting to PENNDOT
I am introducing legislation to amend the Vehicle Code to better ensure the integrity of medical reports made to PENNDOT in regarding drivers.

Health care professionals to required report patients to PENNDOT with certain medical conditions that affect the physical or mental ability to operate a vehicle. Based upon the information, a person’s driving privilege may be restricted, suspended, or revoked. Yet under Title 75, those reports are confidential and access to them is denied even to the patient. My legislation will make reports submitted by a health care professional available to the individual about whom they have been submitted within 20 days of a request by the driver.

Furthermore, any individual may make a report to PENNDOT regarding concerns they have with an individual’s physical or mental ability to drive. PENNDOT regulations stipulate the validity of these reports must be investigated by the department’s Medical Unit, with additional precautions taken when they come from someone other than a family member. If a legitimate concern is determined that could affect an individual’s ability to drive, the driver must have a physician complete a medical examination form or the driver may need to be retested. While there is no automatic recall of a driving privilege under these regulations, the driver has 30 days to respond or risk suspension of his license. These reports are also confidential.

Given the sensitivity regarding reporting by concerned family members, I understand the need to keep those types of reports confidential as long as PENNDOT continues to thoroughly investigate their validity but I believe we need to provide a disincentive for people to intentionally give PENNDOT misinformation about a driver. Therefore, my bill will also make it a summary offense for any person to give information knowing or having reason to believe the information is false, similar to the current offense under Title 75 for submitting false accident reports.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please feel free to contact me or my legislative director, Geri Sarfert, at 717-787-6063.

Introduced as SB783