Disabled Maryville student has license revoked

Disabled Maryville student has license revoked

Posted:
Brittany showed us how she steers the wheel with no problems. Brittany showed us how she steers the wheel with no problems.
? With questions about her disability, the Department of Safety vehicles required Brittany to have her doctor fill out a driver evaluation order. ? With questions about her disability, the Department of Safety vehicles required Brittany to have her doctor fill out a driver evaluation order.
"I proved to the guy at the DMV that I can do everything, yet I still have to get all of this done," Brittany said. "I think it's unfair." "I proved to the guy at the DMV that I can do everything, yet I still have to get all of this done," Brittany said. "I think it's unfair."
"As far as the steering wheel, she can turn it. She's very careful," Pam Hill, Brittany's grandmother, said. "As far as the steering wheel, she can turn it. She's very careful," Pam Hill, Brittany's grandmother, said.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

MARYVILLE (WATE) - A disabled woman from Maryville says it is unfair that she had her driver's license revoked.

The college student has broken no traffic laws, but her license was taken away just weeks after passing her test due to problems associated with her disability.

Brittany Bowman, 18, a freshman at Maryville College, is disabled with a congenital disorder, arthrogryposis. It's a rare condition characterized by stiff joints and abnormally developed muscles.

In early March, she bought a car after passing her driver's test a few weeks earlier.

As a self-motivated, independent person, Brittany is determined to do things without much help, whether it's getting into her car or driving.

But she's disappointed that her drivers license has been suspended after doing nothing wrong.

"I get a letter telling me I have to do a driver's evaluation," she told 6 On Your Side recently. "Before the medical committee will consider me keeping my license."

Brittany would have to pay $350, despite having no trouble driving whatsoever.

Pam Hill helped teach her granddaughter to drive.

"As far as the steering wheel, she can turn it. She's very careful," Hill said.

With questions about her disability, the Department of Safety vehicles required Brittany to have her doctor fill out a driver evaluation order.  

The doctor writes that Brittany may have, "trouble turning quickly."

Brittany was eager to show us how well she can steer the car.

Before she gets her license back, a certified driving specialist will have to determine her driving skills. But doesn't understand why she really has to do that.

"Like I proved to the guy at the DMV that I can do everything, yet I still have to get all of this done," she said. "I think it's unfair."

"There's an evaluation period depending on their skill level," said Patrick Bowen with Superior Van and Mobility.

Bowen showed us special adaptive devices that are designed so the disabled can drive vehicles safely.

"All that is determined by the evaluator, to make certain the individual is safe for themselves, but everyone else on the road," he said.

The other day, Brittany successfully completed her evaluation test in Chattanooga at Siskin Hospital.

"He's not going to require me to have anything on my vehicle, but it would be good for me to look into it," Brittany said.

There are devices like the V grip, the ball grip, the tri-pin grip that help drivers adapt to steering.

Based on some of the latest equipment, Brittany believes it will be to her advantage to invest in one or two of them. Like any other motorist, she wants to drive as safely as possible. 

It is often seniors or those with debilitating conditions who have to undergo a special driver's evaluation exam.

For Brittany, it was the original examination officer who believed a doctor's evaluation was first necessary to determine if she could drive safely.

The state tells 6 On Your Side these evaluations are necessary, not only for the protection and safety of the driver, but for others on the road as well.


Don Dare's 6 On Your Side reports can be seen every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on 6 News at 6:00.

If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.