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Disabled May Apply for Driver License
China's disabled residents may become eligible to apply for a driver's license, the Ministry of Public Security said, after announcing plans to amend regulations on applications for driving licenses and driving tests.

According to the draft amendment of the regulations, which is being solicited for public opinion, disabled individuals must inform the administration of any special circumstances, including hearing-aid, glasses or if he or she drives a car adapted for the disabled.

Disabled people will be able to apply for a driver's license as long as the individual meets the requirements, said Hao Erkang, an official with the China Disabled Persons' Federation.

The disabled are looking forward to enjoying the chance of driving, he said.

Nonetheless, public concerns about the safety of disabled people driving still exist.

Hao said that the experience of disabled drivers in other parts of the world has proven that it will be safe for them to drive if they receive proper training.

The country will need a set of strict standards to test a disabled person as a driver, said Yang Yang, vice president of the association of the hearing-impaired.

The administrations are expected to put forward guidelines for refitting cars for the disabled, said Wang Kaiyan, an official with the CDPF branch in Dongcheng District of Beijing.

Auto manufacturers in China usually ask car buyers not to refit their products for security reasons.

(Xinhua News Agency June 12, 2003)

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