Posted on May 2, 2022
When people speak up, it can result in progress and real change. Today, I spoke in support of S.B. 333, a portion of which will give people who use bioptic lenses the ability to obtain their driver’s license.
This legislation, which passed unanimously today in the House and has already passed the Senate, was the result of my constituents in Monroe, Sandra Gabriel-Busa and her son, Max, who came forward and brought it to my attention. Under existing law, Max, who is on the high school wrestling team and involved in Boy Scouts, can’t take his driving test in Connecticut because he was diagnosed with Juvenile Macular Degeneration at the age of 10 and needs bioptic lenses in order to get behind the wheel.
His vision is lower than average, but the loss of sight has plateaued. Because he can’t drive, his ability to see his friends, travel to college or get a job is restricted. Those bioptics use telescopic lenses attached to a set of glasses that give the driver the ability to focus on certain objects as they are driving. Over 30 states, including New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania allow for the use of bioptic lenses as a driver’s license aide, much like a knob on a steering wheel or a foot extension to reach the pedals.
Working with Max and his mom, we brought forward this truly life-changing legislation that – as long as it’s signed by the governor – will require the DMV to issue driver’s licenses to people, including seniors, who wear glasses with bioptic lenses if the applicant otherwise meets regulatory vision standards and license requirements.
I was proud to work on this with Max and I encourage anyone who has their own issue to reach out to me so we can enact that change together.