December 1983

Bioptic Telescopic Spectacle Is a Hazard for Operating a Motor Vehicle

Author Affiliations

From the Low Vision Service, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(12):1907-1908. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040020909015

• The primary purpose of the bioptic telescopic spectacle is to permit the driver to pass the visual requirement to operate a motor vehicle. It is paradoxical that a driver can pass the vision test only by the use of a telescope but that he cannot drive while looking through the telescope. Rather, he must drive with his limited vision (sometimes legal blindness) while looking through the carrier lens. He can use the telescope only for reading a sign or for distinguishing an object, and even then he must lower his head to look through it. This is hazardous: he becomes thus "blind" to the traffic while reading the sign through the telescope. Such a driver could never pass a peripheral vision test due to the blind areas created in the peripheral field. It is more humane and reasonable to grant a waiver for the impaired vision than to compel a handicapped person to purchase a bioptic telescopic spectacle to pass the visual requirement.