Evaluation of the Oregon DMV At-Risk Driver Program

James Strathman, Portland State University


In June 2003 Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) implemented a new mandatory medical reporting requirement as required by ORS 807.710, in which some Oregon physicians and health care providers are mandated to report to DMV patients with certain severe and uncontrollable cognitive and functional impairments.  The previous mandatory law required reporting based on the diagnosis of conditions or impairments that bring about momentary or prolonged lapses of consciousness or control, and was determined to be too narrow to address the many possible mental and physical conditions that can affect safe driving.  This determination occurred as a result of a study of the effects of aging upon driving ability (ODOT, 2000), which was conducted at the direction of the 1999 Oregon Legislature (HB 2446).

DMV worked in consultation with medical and other experts on cognitive and functional impairments in developing the new mandatory reporting requirement, and implementation included training for physicians and other healthcare providers across the state.  The new impairment-based reporting requirement considers the type and degree of impairment rather than a medical diagnosis.  The revised program has been characterized by Stutts (2005: 59) as “one of the most comprehensive in the nation and one of the few that requires physician reporting of selected medical conditions or functional impairments.”  The proposed research would be the first evaluation of DMV’s revised reporting program.

The proposed evaluation of the Oregon DMV At-Risk Driver Program consists of four primary elements: 1) a literature review; 2) a summary analysis of drivers processed through the program; 3) recovery of information from health care professionals on issues related to their use of the program and their compliance with the program’s reporting requirements; 4) a statistical analysis of the crash and traffic offense conviction patterns of persons in the program, compared to similar drivers without impairments.


Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
End Date:
August 28,2008
UTC Grant Cycle:
OTREC 2007
UTC Funding: