Hawaii’s Medical Advisory Board
Section 286-4.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, provides for the establishment of a medical advisory board (MAB) within the State department of transportation. The purpose of the MAB is to review the medical records of persons who an examiner of drivers has reason to believe has a mental or physical condition that might impair their driving ability. The MAB then provides advice to the examiner of drivers, who makes the final licensing decision. The goal is to bring about an equitable decision that considers both the safety of the driver and the safety of other roadway users.
The MAB must consist of at least five physicians (3 are needed for quorum) with an interest in one or more of the following: psychiatry, orthopedics, ophthalmology or optometry, internist or endocrinology, geriatrics, or addiction medicine (286-4.1, Hawaii Revised Statutes). In accordance with section 26-34, HRS, each member is nominated by the Senate and appointed by the Governor for a four-year term. Members cannot serve more than eight consecutive years (two four-year appointments).
The MAB is administratively attached to the Motor Vehicle Safety Office (MVSO), Highways Division of the State Department of Transportation. The MVSO Highway Safety Manager coordinates the activities of the Board. The meetings are generally held in the 5th floor Conference Room at the Department of Transportation Building at 869 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii. The following policies for the Board have been approved:
- The Medical Advisory Board holds a meeting on the second Monday of each month, unless there are fewer than six cases referred, or unless a quorum (3 members) does not exist.
- Minutes are recorded and filed in the Motor Vehicle Safety Office.
- Recommendations are based on the judgment of the Board members and information from the examining physicians. The “Driver Fitness Medical Guidelines,” produced cooperatively by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 is used as the Board’s guideline.
- The Motor Vehicle Safety Office receives the medical reports and any other pertinent information from the examiners of drivers and sends copies to the Medical Advisory Board members before the monthly meetings.
- The Board members review the information and bring it to the meeting. Cases are reviewed and recommendations are decided upon by the board. The chairperson submits the recommendations in writing to the examiner of drivers, who make the final decisions.
This is a very important public service. The members serve without compensation, but are reimbursed for expenses, including travel costs, that are actually incurred in the performance of their duties.
The terms of the current board members are as follows:
|Dr. O. David Dellinger
|Dr. Judith Dickert
|Dr. Anthony Katras
|Dr. Suzie Nemmers
|Dr. Alan Stein
|Dr. Christopher Tortora
For more information about the Medical Advisory Board, call (808) 692-7656 or (808) 692-7655.