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April 1985

Automobile Driving With Telescopic Aids

Author Affiliations

Austin, Tex

Arch Ophthalmol. 1985;103(4):476-477. doi:10.1001/archopht.1985.01050040018004

To the Editor.  —Controversies continue as to the fitness of drivers wearing bioptic telescopic spectacles. Their inherent unavoidable optical deficiencies have been demonstrated,1 but proponents claim that their dangers can be overcome.2 National driver licensing authorities concluded in 1983 that telescope-dependent persons "not be licensed to operate a motor vehicle."3While the current official policy of a prestigious national health organization4 cites several incomplete or misleading statements in favor of driving with telescopes, it behooves all ophthalmologists to counsel their patients by pointing out several facts.First, telescopes may enable the low-vision driver to pass the state's vision test. However, passing a static visual acuity test loses its importance when driving ability is impaired by the telescope-induced field defect. Proponents then point out that the telescope "is used for spotting for fine details rather than for continuous driving."4 Thus, the telescope is used only 1%

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