[Sayma-Discuss] FW: [Greenville] Petition in the matter of Rachel Townes' recovery

Chris Berg cshapenote at hotmail.com
Wed Mar 12 00:19:39 JEST 2014

Forwarded to SAYMA at the request of a Greenville Meeting member.
This may be of particular interest to Friends at Atlanta, Athens, Canton or Macon,
or others interested in Georgia striking a good balance between safety and liberty.

Chris Berg

From: thomasleefallaw at msn.com
To: greenville at palmettofriends.org
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2014 07:21:18 -0400
Subject: [Greenville] Petition in the matter of Rachel Townes' recovery

Greenville Friends Meeting would like you to know that concern for Laura Townes' musically gifted, eldest daughter Rachel, has taken a new direction, a direction in which your active participation must be invited and sought.   

Please inform your colleagues, friends and family.  
Build support of her fairness petition.

Whatever not fully explained below - and that may be hard to imagine - may be found in listening to Clare and Sarah, her sisters, and to their mother, Laura. 

Add your family, friends and colleagues. Our numbers count.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    TF                                                                       
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:17:33 -0600
Subject: Change.org petition for my sister Rachel. Please read and consider signing. Thanks
From: cktownes at gmail.com


Hello friends,I am asking if you'll consider clicking on the link above and reading and signing the change.org  petition that my family and I have a personal interest in and that we put together. My sister Rachel, as some of you know, had a bike wreck last May, which caused a concussion. She has had problems with her peripheral vision since then and has a condition called hemianopia (also spelled hemianopsia). There are varying degrees of hemianopia, and Rachel is high functioning and can still play the piano and make a living from her music, though with more difficulty. However, she lives in Georgia and the Georgia driving laws  are very strict for  peripheral vision measurements to be able to drive. Rachel's measurements do not meet the legal requirements for driving. Not being able to drive has been devastating to her and a huge blow to her independence and mobility. We believe that Rachel's vision is within acceptable limits to drive and that the Georgia law is too strict. In this email, I have posted links to several articles about how unfair the Georgia requirements are. In South Carolina, for instance, Rachel would be able to drive with testing and approval from the motor vehicle department. The requirements vary from state to state. We believe the Georgia law should be changed to give Rachel and others like her a chance. If you could sign this petition addressed to the Georgia Assembly and send it to your friends, and especially anyone you know in Georgia, our family will be extremely grateful to you. 
Also, check out and Like our Facebook page called EyeDrive for more information and updates.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this and to consider signing.
Clare TownesFor more information:
If you'd like more information, here are some links and research findings. 

Rachel would probably be able to drive in South Carolina, just across the border, because South Carolina does not have a visual field requirement but allows persons with visual field limitations a chance to prove their fitness for driving. Here is the link for state by state requirements.  


The article in the next link in was written by a couple of doctors who have expertise in hemianopia and is posted on a widely respected website. It makes the point that cognitive function should be given as much value as visual field perception when measuring a hemianopia patient's driving ability. If this were the case, my sister would have a much better chance of passing a driving test.


I have found several other articles which also stress that people with hemianopia should be given the opportunity to prove their fitness to drive. 

The conclusion of the next article is that many requirements for driver's licenses are not based on rigorous scientific testing, but on hunches of what may or may not be safe and that driver's license restrictions are too harsh. 


The next article I have linked to was written by Dr. Eli Peli, a highly credentialed professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and a leading expert in vision research. He clearly states that some persons with hemianopia should be given the chance to prove their fitness for driving. He argues that the loss of visual field should be addressed as a disability and not an impairment. If it were treated as a disability, the driving ability of the person affected would be based on a road test as well as a clinical evaluation. He states that the vision requirement of 140 that some states have adopted may have been based on a misinterpretation of federal law.

Here is the entire article and it makes a compelling case for reconsidering the driving laws about vision requirements. 



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