Friday, October 23, 2015

"Japan to allow hearing aid-dependent persons to drive taxis, buses"

From Japan Today, 10/22/15:

The National Police Agency on Thursday released a plan to allow hearing aid-dependent persons to obtain a license required for driving taxis and buses in Japan.

The agency will revise the ordinance of the road traffic law, which will be open to public comments until Nov 21 before taking effect on April 1.

“We have made a step forward in expanding the occupational field for hearing-impaired people,” said Masashi Matsumoto, director at the Japanese Federation of the Deaf, in welcoming the plan.

“We will tackle an enlightenment campaign to have people understand that there is no problem with hearing-aid users’ driving,” he said. “In the future, we would like to pave the way for anyone to get that kind of license irrespective of hearing-aid use.”

The revision will ease the present requirement for any person to hear a 90-decibel horn 10 meters away without a hearing aid to obtain a second-class license.

The move comes after the agency, in cooperation with groups of hearing-impaired people, conducted experiments since fiscal 2013 and demonstrated that there are no safety problems with driving by such people.


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