The CARA has been officially recognised since 1998 as the only approved institution as far as driving ability is concerned (RD of 23 March 1998 and MD of 27 March 1998). The Centre assesses all the essential functions which can impact safe driving of a motor vehicle for which a driving licence is required.
The people suffering from the following ailments are all concerned:
- Disease of the musculoskeletal system
- Central or peripheral nervous system disease
- Any other disease affecting the motor system, perception, behaviour and judgement.
If a physician diagnoses one of the aforementioned diseases, he / she will send the driver concerned to the CARA. The CARA will then assess the person’s ability to drive and may exceptionally deliver a certificate of ability to (some) candidates-drivers who do not meet (well defined) visual requirements anymore (RD of 23 March 1998, appendix 6, III, 2.3.2 en 3.2.2).
The assessment of the ability to drive is a delicate exercise, on the borderline between the right of each individual to mobility and road safety as a whole. Through the assessment of the ability to drive, a multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists and road experts determines the conditions and/or restrictions on your driving licence, and the potential changes to perform on your vehicle.
- issues a certificate of ability to drive (model XII) to the candidates-drivers of a vehicle necessitating a group 1 driving licence (category Am,A1,A2,B,BE G).
- issues to physicians or commissioned institutions a recommendation on the ability to drive for holders of a group 2 driving licence (category C, D, B paid transport).
The competent authorities use this certificate of ability to drive to adjust, return or retain your driving licence. In addition to the certificate of ability to drive, you receive a technical specifications sheet that you can use to request financial assistance if needed to the competent authorities, the company that performs the adjustments on your car or the insurance company.
You may have to take a course to get accustomed to driving an adapted vehicle or to obtain the category B driving licence. Via your driving school, you can contact the CARA to use an adapted vehicle for your lessons, free of charge. The CARA also has an adapted truck for driving schools and one for the Social Fund for Road Transport at your disposal.
Besides assessing the ability to drive, the CARA also gives advice on the modifications of your vehicle:
- the ergonomic aspects of the modifications
- the transport of the passenger as well as the driver in a replacement car seat (such as a wheelchair)
- loading the wheelchair into the vehicle
- the use of seat belts
Based on its knowledge and experience, the CARA issues recommendations intended for national and European authorities as regards regulation and medical and legal requirements related to the ability to drive. An expertise we are continuously developing, for instance by taking an active part to research programmes, conventions and national as well as international symposiums. Finally, the CARA proposes to give presentations, documentation and training on the ability to drive to the medical and paramedical professionals.