Request for improvement of Deaf driver's license acquisition conditions

The sign that the Deaf driver must stick on his car to indicate "Deaf driving."


The profound Deaf person become able to get the driving license with the Road Traffic Law revision in 2008, but there has been little increase nationally.

According to the Hyogo Prefecture Police, only 15 profound Deaf person have acquired the driving license in the prefecture as of the end of July, 2011 after the revised law enforcement.

The Prefecture Police license division,  etc., said that there was  409  holders of license after revised law enforcement in the whole country as of March 2011. In the prefecture, there are 5,500 or more candidate over aged 18.

It has been pointed out as a reason that the profound Deaf driver must display the designed sign when driving, and that sign-language interpreting is not provided when taking a written examination.

MURAKAMI Yoshifumi (39), a Deaf Himeji-City resident, has continued failing the written examination, giving up getting the driving license. He said, "I want to have the written questions in the examination interpreted using a monitor, etc."

If the hearing-aid is used, the disability sign will be unnecessary, but Yoshifumi fears, "Will the Deaf driver discriminated because of the sign?"

SHIMAMOTO Kyoki (34), Director of the Hyogo Association of the Deaf in Kobe City, said, "We Deaf people always check around with our own eyes. We never get into any trouble with a siren on the road." He appeals for more revision of acquisition conditions as equal as non-disabled people.

Moreover, the shortage of driving schools which accept a Deaf person is also one of the reasons for the "slow increase." There are only 5 schools that offer the interpreting service out of 58 appointed driving schools in the prefecture.

The James Mountain Driving School, the only one school with the signing staff in Kobe City, said, "We had one inquiry from the profound Deaf person who wished license acquisition in three years."

The person in charge of Prefecture Police has also said, "We do not think that the number of driving schools with the interpreter is insufficient."

However, Yoshifumi pointed out, "although we would like to go to the driving school with an interpreter, the five schools are not enough. It is ideal that every driving school has an interpreter."

Reviewing such the present condition, the National Police Agency announced the reform bill of the Road Traffic Law, aiming at the the enforcement in April, 2012.

Related links:
-Revised Road Traffic Law Allows Deaf Drivers To Drive Without Hearing Aids

-Road Traffic Law Revised: Only 45 Deaf persons granted driving license for a year


Meredith said...

I live in the U.S. but I have lived in Japan for a while. I put a Japanese "Deaf Driver" sign on my car here in the U.S. I dream of the day someone will recognize that it means I am Deaf and I have been to Japan. But of course nobody here recognizes it.

Deaf Japan News said...

I think the Japanese sign doesn't directly show anything related to the Deaf unless people know what it means. Of course I hope Deaf Japanese travelers would notice it in the U.S.