Driving and disability: shared experiences of the CMN Propara and Bouffard Vercelli Centres

Dr Christine VEROLLETa, Dr Michel ENJALBERTb, Dr Cécile MAURIa, Mr Olivier BOSCb, Mrs Nicole TURLANa, Mrs Pascale LAVIERa

a CMN Propara, b Centre Bouffard Vercelli

Objective: Driving a vehicle involves the civil and legal responsibility of the driver and remains an essential challenge for the professional and social rehabilitation of the disabled person. The absence of a government driving authorization adapted to one’s health status could lead to legal consequences for the driver. Specific procedures exist to allow people with disabilities to drive a vehicle.

Material, Patients and Method:

The Bouffard Vercelli and CMN PROPARA Centres accompany their patients by helping them obtain their adapted driver’s license and since May 2013, a specific partnership has been implemented between these two PM&R centres around the joystick control assistive driving aid (KEMPF SAS, Strasbourg, France).

The CMN PROPARA cares persons with spinal cord injury but unlike the Bouffard Vercelli centre does not benefit from an in-house driving school, but rather relies on the expertise of partner driving schools. The driving simulation is done with adapted vehicles; occupational therapists from the PM&R centre define the needed adaptive driving equipment for each specific patient, a driving test sometimes followed by driving lessons allows patients to obtain their adapted driver's licence delivered by the Driving School instructor after prior approval by the referent appointed physician or medical commission.


For 2013 and 2014:

- Bouffard Vercelli centre, which also has conventions with 3 other neurological centers in its region for adapted driving performed, 184 evaluations with 10 new driver licenses obtained and 21 driver license regularizations including 4 on the joystick control assistive driving aid.

- CMN Propara: 31 patients are in the process of being evaluated for a regularization of their driver license and 17 regularizations were already obtained. The new addition was the possibility for 12 quadriplegic patients with a high level of SCI to have access to the driving tests.


Facilitating the access to a joystick control assistive driving aid is essential because users can finally have access to a correctly adapted driving station, in cases where usual adaptive devices would be insufficient.


JO : Legal article August 31st, 2010.

Keywords : driving, spinal cord injury, quadriplegia, mini manche, assistive device