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Tue Nov 08, 2005 2:40 pm

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Driving

Ley Post subject: Driving

I was wondering about my nervousness about driving. When I drive, I can't tell how close I am to the car that's driving parallel to me. Its very frustrating and I am constantly worried that I am driving on the other side of the lane. Even checking my side-view mirrors doesn't really help. I still worry about it. Is there anything that I can do to learn how to tell how far my car is from another car when I drive in parallel to it. Thanks for listening.

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Drivers Licenses

Susan

subject: Drivers Licenses

Hi, Jay . just discovered your Lost Eye website and found it very informative. My daughter was a crime victim in 2001 in which she suffered a severe injury resulting in a detached retina and trauma to her left eye. After 4 operations, the doctors were unable to reattach the retina and, as a result of the trauma, her eye was disfigured. They did not recommend removing the eye but, rather, fitting her with a scleral shell. You are so right, her ocularist is not only a true artist but an angel. I was absolutely amazed at the results.

Like you and many others in their letters, she hasn't missed a step in her life. I am so proud of her determination and commitment to carrying on without dwelling on the past and in self-pity. I really don't know if I could be as positive if it happened to me.

Thought you may be able to answer a couple of questions for us. What happens when she has to renew her driver's license -- we live in Georgia. Will this be a major hassle? She has moved so she can't renew by mail. Also, are you familiar with the IRS deduction for blindness in one eye and is it worth itemizing her return in order to claim it?

Thank you for your time -- I will recommend your site to my daughter. My name is Susan

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Jdhboston

Hi, I can try & give you an answer to your two questions: 1) Each state set their own vision standards. For example, in Massachusetts a regular license is issued for 20/40 or better vision in the better eye and a day license when vision is 20/70. Most state require either a vision test or if there is a question then a doctor's statement. So, most people with only one good eye can pass the vision requirements. 2) The IRS deduction for blindness applies to legal blindness, which is either a very restricted visual field or 20/200 or worse in the better eye with correction. Most people with one eye are not legally blind. You can take it only if you do not itemize & meet the requirement. Good luck, Jeff

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please help

Soon

subject: please help

Hi,

Thank you for taking your time to read through my mail. I am a 24 years old female Singaporean. I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at the age of 3. My right eye was removed as a result. Except from having weird stares from the public, more frequent hospital check-ups, and some discrimination, I had led quite a normal life until recently I found out that, people with monocular vision are not allowed to learn driving in Singapore.

Although I am provided with medical report from an eye specialist that my left eye is, "normal in every way", "good normal vision", I am still not allowed to learn to drive. I understand that many countries, or rather all allow people with monocular vision to learn to drive, provided they have medical proof showing they meet the standards. I have no problems with my vision throughout my education and personal life. I even represented my school for basketball and netball tournaments.

It could be the reason that only a handful of people in Singapore are diagnosed with retinoblastoma that we, the minority are being forgotten. I simply feel that, my rights have being neglected. I have suffered a lot to what I am today
and I am definitely not willing to surrender to any situation, which I think is not fair. Just like all retinoblastoma survivors, my family and I just want to lead as normal life as possible.

Therefore, I am writing in, in hopes that, with experiences of the people here, I will be able to gather the support, providing evidence, which shows that people like us are in fact safe to drive. I will then be able to represent the proof to the relevant authorities to challenge the discriminate driving regulations. I have also joined some cancer support groups, seeking help from the survivors. The response was awesome, and it is these emails that motivate me.

Thank you and your help will be greatly appreciated

Hope to hear from you soon.

Best regards Soon

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Guest

Hi Soon, it is hard to believe what you are saying. Is it true? Did the authorities show you any legal act or any evidence that you are not able/eligible to get your driver license? I can not believe it. That is mean that if someone with monocular vision from other country will come to Singapore with his/her own driver license he/she won't be able to drive? I do not understand it. It's silly. What I know is that in Australia this is not a problem and you can drive a car. Cheers. Anna

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Rich

To enlighten those in authority, I would show them this site (losteye.com). This site would also give them some education on the subject. Many of the references on this site may also help. I found the book "A Singular View" very helpful in my preparation for losing an eye.

I'm sure we all can lend our assistance in some way.

Good luck, take care, & God bless. Rich

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penny

Hi Soon,

I agree it certainly seems unfair that you are unable to drive. I have only ever had monocular vision. I learnt to drive when I was 17 in the UK and have been driving ever since ( I am 50.)I now live in Australia and as Anna has already told you there is no problem getting a license over here.

Its hard work lobbying governments to change laws but it can be done.

Good luck. Penny

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Jay

You need to lobby hard to get this changed. There is almost no disadvantage to having a single eye and driving. Hell, I learned to fly after I lost my eye and the Federal Aviation Authority has given me an unrestricted pilot's license (by contrast my two-eyed business partner is not allowed to fly at night because he is color blind, go figure).

So, this is a totally ridiculous limitation. Work to have it changed, not just for yourself, but for others who will come after you.

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Guest

Hi Soon, how are going? If you need any help just write. Did you have a chance to do anything with your driver license? If you need any help feel free to write. Cheers. Anna

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Jay

Me again

Soon

subject: Me again

Hi guys. remember me? that gal who wanted a driving license badly back in Singapore? Well. don't know if there is anyone there who is interested in my situation. I am writing in anyway. just want to be responsible to those who are interested.

up to today, I am still struggling to get help from all over the country. the last solution I have now is to wait for the reply from a vision-lost organization. The last time I wrote in to them was about one and a half month ago. still no reply. They promised to get back to me shortly.

well. guess now other than waiting is still waiting.

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Rich

Soon,

I think we're all interested in hearing how your situation is progressing. It's hard to believe that the vision lost organization is of no help. All I can say is to keep trying & keep us informed.

Rich

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Alicia

Hi, Soon -

I can't believe you're still facing this challenge. Is there some kind of letter-writing campaign that would help? Maybe we could - those of us who have good driving records - write to an official, explaining things from a hands-on perspective?

Take care and keep us informed!

Love- Alicia

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Soon

hi, Rich, Alicia and all.

Thank you and the letter writing suggestion sounds great. I will find if it could help. if it really does help, hope to get support from you guys. Take care of yourself and keep in contact.

Best Regards Soon

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Chris

Soon,

I'd be glad to help too. I've been driving for 25 years with a perfect record (uh oh, hope I didn't just jinx myself! lol).

~Chris~

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Another Driving Thread!

irishangel

subject: Another Driving Thread!

Ok folks, please don't groan at yet another driving question lol!

I was in a room, with 5 other people, but between us all, there were only 7 eyes working! (I was tempted to enter for the World Record of getting the most monocular people in a room at once, but as most of you guys are across the pond maybe that wouldn't work! lol) 5 of us were monocular, 3 had lost sight in their left eyes (myself included) and 2 had lost their right.

The conversation got around to who had the hardest time driving. Those of us with left eye loss, said that roundabouts, looking over your left shoulder reversing and cyclists coming up on your inside were difficult, those with the right side loss said that lane changes and the natural blind spot in a right hand drive vehicle made their life more difficult. So what are your views?

Remember we are driving Right Hand Drive Vehicles, on the Left Side of the Road, whereas you guys in the US are the other way round. So I guess what ever you find difficult, I just swap around to fit in here. Confused?! lol

Anyway, its just a wee fun question to compare notes!

Love n Hugs to all,

Elizabeth.

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Anyone towed a trailer?

jan

subject: Anyone towed a trailer?

Just prior to my accident, I was about to purchase a pickup and horse trailer so I could transport my horse to shows. I'm feeling good about my driving so far.( I had my eye removed on 1/19/05) but I'm wondering if pulling a trailer would be a stretch for me? Anyone have experience. Especially at night?

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shaggy

I have towed a 26 foot travel trailer to Florida from Virginia several times and north to Wisconsin and just about every place in between with no problem whatsoever. Although I just had my enucleation in November, I have been totally blind in my right eye for 15 years. I have become so accustomed to using my mirrors with the little birds eye mirrors, I almost never turn to look behind me. I say go for it. It won't take long before it is completely natural.

Good luck, Shaggy

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froggyinark

lost the use of my right eye in October 2003, and have been pulling trailers ever since. it took a bit to get adjusted to the depth changes, but I haven't had any problems so far, and I pull several trailers during the week as part of my work. I have a suburban, and a Toyota Tacoma and have been able to tow trailers with them both. _________________ Lost use of right eye during a traffic accident. Drs are trying to rebuild eyelids to regain some usage, but till they work out a way to build or transplant just eyelids.

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Has anyone towed a trailer??

jan

subject: Has anyone towed a trailer??

Just prior to my accident, I was about to purchase a pickup and horse trailer so I could transport my horse to shows. I'm feeling good about my driving so far.( I had my eye removed on 1/19/05) but I'm wondering if pulling a trailer would be a stretch for me? Anyone have experience?

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hpyagl

Jan,

I have found towing trailers to be no problem at all as long as you have good towing mirrors on each side of the cab. I imagine this is the same for driver though. I never had towed anything prior to the loss of my right eye at 19 so I don't know any different. Got pretty good at backing boats down extended ramps when I lived in Ill. KC

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Need tips for driving

Jul

subject: Need tips for driving

Hi! I'm new here, and take the chance to ask a question I hope you guys will help me with. I'm blind in one eye (from birth - actually, it's more like a really bad lazy eye) and recently got my drivers' license. Thing is, although I was really proud to pass the test, I'm a pretty bad driver, and nobody seems to understand why. Basically, I'm scared, and it has to do with my blind eye. or should I say my blind spot. My blind eye is the left one, and I find it really tricky to get on the freeway/ highway, or simply to turn. I know it's because of my eye cause I drove in New-Zealand and in Australia, and found it much easier! But let's be realistic, it's very unlikely that Canada will start driving on the left side (and I don't want to immigrate in OZ) I also have problem to see where I'm going. Okay, it's not that bad, but I'm always scared to take the wrong way - it's hard to see the road as a "whole". I can't explain it! I'm never going to turn into a Formula 1 driver, but I'd like to get some advice to feel more comfortable driving.

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Andrew

Post subject: get blind spot mirrors

I started using these when I bought my used car and it just happened to come with them. But they're really good, it helps you with your blind spots, which is when a car is next to you but farther back. It does take a little getting used to though. http://www.acehardware.com/sm-custom-ac ... 92148.html

I'm sure they sell it in most car accessory stores.

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irishangel

First off, Welcome Jul!

as regards the driving:

You said:

Quote: I know it's because of my eye cause I drove in New-Zealand and in Australia, and found it much easier!

I'm blind in my left eye too, and here in Ireland and the UK we drive on the left. But I find it more difficult!?! I have 2 other family members blind in one eye, one of them is blind in his right eye, (so the same situation as you only reversed, if you understand what I mean?) and he finds it easier to drive here than in the US.

Strange!! lol.

We all have problems with driving at first, but I think the more you drive then the more you get your confidence built up!

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Guest

Hi all, Thanks for replying to my message - I feel that for once I'm with people who know what I'm talking about! Irishangel, I still think it's harder to get on the freeway when you're blind in your left eye. For me, it's mostly because even if I turn my head to the maximum, well, after all

I'm human and my head doesn't rotate 360 degrees , so there's always a blind spot. It's also hard to judge the speed of other cars. I spend so much time wondering whether I have time to go or not! That's actually surprising for me, cause having only one eye never caused me troubles (maybe cause it's from birth).

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JK

Hi Jul,

I'm blind in the left eye and understand the uncomfortable feeling of merging on to an interstate or changing lanes to the left. My advice is to give a signal/show your intention of merging/changing lanes well in advance of doing it. Then as you are going with the flow of the traffic, take your time on making the merge instead of jumping lanes quickly. Maintaining the speed, just sort of "inch" over gradually. If there's a vehicle in your blind spot(s), hopefully he will blow his horn to warn of his presence, or slow down some to allow you to get in. A quick glance over the left shoulder and rear-view mirror and side view mirror monitoring are essential too. Another thing that I find myself doing is being conservative about changing lanes. So what if someone is driving 5 mph slower than me in front of me? Unless there's an urgent need to change lanes, I'll back off on my speed, until I am very sure there is no one in the lane to my left.

There are gadgets---mirrors, cameras---that I've heard other people have success using. I haven't tried them, yet, but have been toying with the ideas.

JK

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Jul

Thanks for your advices JK. One thing which actually drives me crazy, is despite I signal myself really well (I'm prob. one of the most cautious drivers around here!), there's always someone to speed so that you can't get in. The first time ever I drove by myself, I was try to get out of one of those huuuuge parking lot, and I was being really careful, cause which all those big SUV and me in my small car, well, blind spots are easy to get. Anyway, 2 minutes later, I got yelled at for going to slow (actually, the guy wanted to park - hey, some people are in a hurry to go to Wal Mart). I got off of my car and yelled back that he should distract a half blind lady while she drives, that I could cause trouble and accidentally "bump" his car. Okay, that's bad. But felt good!!

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Barry

subject: Hi Jul : )

Hi Jul, this is the blind in one eye giving advice to the blind in the other eye You mentioned sometime you are not sure if you can go, it is hard for me to do but I try to wait until I'm sure. The people who get mad are just looking for someone to get mad at anyway. If I'm merging and someone is tailgating me I slow down some so they will also have to slow down, and then I speed up to get them off my butt so they won't be there to pass me right as I merge. There are times merging will be very difficult even for people with both eyes.

I think it's helpful to look for a flow and fit in somewhere, or create your own flow by speeding up or slowing down, I try to be really careful but sometimes I do speed up pretty quick in order to merge, then you have to watch out for the person in front so they will not slow down while you are merging. I avoid rush hour when possible, and I try to never ever never ever never ever tailgate, tailgating kills !! I think if you ever drive in Nashville it is also good to pray before you start your car, the drivers are so crazy and impatient here every time you drive might be your last chance to pray on this earth.

Barry

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irishangel

I think we all have problems with merging lanes and turning out of junctions, I know I find it difficult and especially at night time!

As for driving in a small car, I always prefer the SUV kind of vehicle, as then I'm up high and can see a lot of what's going on!

One Eyed Queen of the Road! lol.

Off the road - I'm having problems with lamp posts at the moment. and so I have a rather sore shoulder 2day!

Elizabeth

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Jay

Driving is not ANY different for the one-eyed driver, it just requires moving the head around slightly more (which, as others have said, the use of mirrors can alleviate).

So get out there and go, and quit making excuses!

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jul Guest

Posted: Sun May 08, 2005 4:13 pm Post subject:

Jay, I'm not making excuses - I'm trying to talk to people with the same problem as me to improve and find solution. I'm perfectly fine with having only one eye and never had any problem with it. Only recently when I started to drive I found it tricky. Sure, it can be psychological as well, but I still think driving with one eye is slightly different than driving with two working eyes. Being confident about our difference is one thing, being over-confident is another. I think I can achieve exactly the same as a person with two good eyes, but I sometimes need tips on how to do it. I'm not complaining or crying on that everyday, I was just asking for your opinion. Thanks you Irishangel - stop hurting lamp posts

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Jay

It is slightly different. Emphasis on slightly.

The only time that it bothers me is at night on a fast freeway, like the I-5 up from San Diego where everybody is driving 90. There, sometimes it's hard to know when some black vehicle has slipped into your blind spot.

Otherwise, you shouldn't have any problem driving so long as you learn to move your head around slightly more. FWIW, it's also better to buy an SUV so that you are higher up and have better visibility.

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Monocular Driving at Night (MDN)

Jorgesmile

subject: Monocular Driving at Night (MDN)

I have been monocular for about 1 1/2 years after an strabismus surgery that the Dr. did not follow standard practice. Lost sight on my left eye.

Driving has been my passion for over 40 years, specially long trips (1k to 3K) and of course that night driving is there. Right after a 3rd. surgery I had to travel by car (could not fly due to the surgery) to CA from New Mexico and while I was not doing the driving I started to notice that at night it was a lot more difficult for me to distinguish the road, signs and approaching vehicles.

I mentioned it to my Dr. and he said that it was to the fact that I needed a new prescription, something about "refraction".

I got the new prescription and since then, the same.

This becomes even more difficult when there is rain or snow, when I have to fully concentrate on some "marks" to have any idea where I am. I increased the light on my headlights and this had improved the situation a bit.

I understand for another message that not many doctors want to deal with this issue.

Please let me know your experiences.

Saludos

Jorge

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, we are in the middle and it is not a train.

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Mini

I am sorry about the trouble you are having but I totally understand since I have the same problem. My night vision is terrible - especially in rainy weather. I don't know if this is different since I lost my eye shortly after birth. My husband says if he closes one eye, it is more difficult to drive. I now just do my best to avoid driving at night. It is limiting, though. Take Care, Mini

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Mini Brave

Jorge, I just read several posts on this topic in the section called vision in dim light. Mini

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Driving

RB Guest

Posted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:26 pm Post subject: Driving

Hello,

got a question about driving with one eye, its quite simple, how many hours can you drive? I feel like I can only drive for about 2 hours, then my eye starts to hurt badly and I can't concentrate anymore (after work, where I have to read a lot that is). Are there any pain relief eye drops or pills or anything like that, for those kind of problems?

Thx, RB

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soft_whisperss

Hello RB,

I've never placed any driving limitations on myself. Last month I drove to Michigan, which is a 13-hour drive, and I drove straight through with meals and occasional rest stops along the way. I do, however, try to drive mostly during the daylight hours when planning long trips. That prevents eye strain due to night time driving. I guess it depends on the individual. I don't see why there should be any eye pain. Now that confuses me.

Brenda

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Adeline

Hi, RB

I also find it uncomfortable to drive for long periods of time. My eye doesn't necessarily hurt, but I get more of a tension headache. I think it's because I feel constantly on guard in the car. I try to be super-aware of the road to make up for my lack of peripheral vision. Does anyone else feel uncomfortable in narrow lanes? I tend to worry that I'm getting too close to the cars on my blind side.

Adeline

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Michael

I find that looking in the mirrors on both sides to see where the lines are. If I can see the yellow, or white lines in the mirrors. then I know I am in the middle of the lane.

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Jay

Right after my enucleation, I wondered about this a lot. So, to find out I drove from Oklahoma to Southern California, leaving OKC at 4:00a and arriving in Laguna at Midnight -- 22 straight hours (picking up 2 hours from CST to PST).

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RB

Hello everybody and thanks for replying,

its nice to hear from others who somehow got the same problem as I have (I didn't lose an eye, but I got a severe amblyopia ["lazy eye"] on my right eye, which somehow causes the same visual problems). For me driving at night is much more comfortable, I also don't have problems during rush hours or parking, but driving at higher speeds like +180 km/h causes real pain in my left eye, maybe that's because I concentrate a lot. But just to make sure I already made an appointment at my oculist. Its not only driving, in any situation where I have to focus my eye for a longer time like reading, watching TV or surfing on the net, I get this eye strain, no headache though.

@Adeline, I also got this problem, I tend to look into the mirrors for the lines like michael does.

Thanks, and sorry for any miss spelled words or grammar (English isn't my mother language.)

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Commercial Driving Vision Waiver

Joe_CJ

subject: Commercial Driving Vision Waiver

Hello All, My name is Joe, and I have been blind in my left eye for 19 years. I have been a truck driver for many of those years. I am from Minnesota so I can only give the requirements and facts from Minnesota rules. I only hope it can give you a general idea of the rules. Here's what I know. You must have a health card to operate a commercial vehicle in Minnesota(and Arizona. I was stopped there in January 1997) In 1994 I got my first medical certificate to operate commercial motor vehicles. At the time my examiner was an older doctor. He gave me the whole exam and the eye test, and I passed with one eye, like a regular eye test at the exam station. Medical cards are renewed every two years in Minnesota, but I didn't have to get one again until 1999 because of non trucker jobs I had. Well, I went back to the same doc in 1999 and he gave me the same exam and suggested we don't mention the condition because they were getting picky with one eyed people, so we didn't, and I got my card. I'm not sure what the laws were exactly in 1999,but in 2002 I found out quickly.

Old doctors are the coolest, but they retire here's what it says on my vision waiver card: 1:Be medically examined and certified in accordance with the rules(I.E. health card) 2:be physically qualified to operate a motor vehicle except for the vision requirement being waived by this document 3:Obtain and carry the appropriate drivers license and comply with any restrictions placed thereon regarding required use of eyeglasses, mirrors, or other visual aids; and 4:Report any accidents, moving violations, or revocations/suspensions/cancellations of you drivers license within 15 days of the incident.

Here's where I would like to post what I think of that, but I will post the (Vision Waiver Maintenance Requirements) instead:

1:An annual eye report from your optometrist or ophthalmologist must be submitted to this office 15 days prior to anniversary date of the issuance of waiver.

2:Any citation for a moving traffic violation involving the operation of a CMV no later than 15 days following issuance of citation. A photocopy of citation must accompany the written report.

3:The judicial/administrative disposition of any citation for a moving violation involving a CMV no later than 15 days following notice of disposition

4:Involvement in any accident whatsoever while operating a CMV no later than 15 days following the accident. Include copies of state, insurance company and/or motor carrier accident reports. 5:Any change of residence, or telephone # or type of vehicle operated no later than 15 days after such a change.

That about all I have for info on me, although I can dig up a couple forms yet that may add more info pertinent to the subject. I also have some personal opinions on the subject if anyone would like to discuss or debate But I just thought this may help out or give a general idea of what the local laws maybe elsewhere Thx again All.

>>>>Joe<<<<

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_________________
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Check out "Lost Eye : Coping with Monocular Vision after Enucleation or Eye Loss from Cancer, Accident, or Disease" at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0595392644 and my e-mail is jay_adkisson [at] msn.com



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