Monday, February 7, 2011

driving license for the colour-blind...

Life of a colour-blind is filled with shame, ridicule and many periods under the spotlight not unlike a showdog. Before i found out my problem at 12, I've been laughed at by friends and given a scolding by the teacher for painting the characters in my drawing green. (if i had been more savvy then i would have told her that it was the Hulk family... Not that i knew back then the Hulk was green... Is he?)

4pm - Now im sitting in a room with many others, waiting for my turn to convert my hk driving license into an sg local license. 

I was here a week ago and here i am again. I had everything required of me last week except i failed the colourblind test. The colorblind test - a set of 4 color circles and you are asked to say them out. I failed. It was like asking an illiterate man to read if you ask me. They tried again with highliters. Not heard of anyone magically cured with a highliter. Since my colorblindness wasnt going away they sent me off to find a general hospital to get myself certified fit for driving...

But it was already the lunar new year period so no luck there. I gave priority to family and heavily pregnant wife and waited till today to have my eye checked. A bit of backfired as i suffered uncertainty and fear over the past few days. What if i dont pass the checkup? What if i can never drive on sg roads? (Can always apply for intl license using my hk license but...)

went round Changi General Hospital this morning and finally found the eye specialist who can give me the eye examination. First round was reading some numbers from afar where i realised that my left is not 20/20 anymore, 2nd round was some air shot into my eyes to test my eye pressure and 3rd was focusing and de-focusing of a house... And that was the prelim check-up!

A 30-min wait later, the doctor was ready to see me. First there was a check of my eyes on this apparatus where she shot some really strong lights into my eyes. Next up the Ishihara test whereby i was supposed to read the number from a bunch of circles. I managed to get the 1st number "12". I failed every subsequent page that was shown. Finally she gave me the ice-cream stick test. She brought out multiple ice-cream sticks with different color labels. I got some correct and some wrong.

After all those tests she finally gave me my results. Very colorblind... But eyes in good enough condition to drive a private car. That's all I need. Retreat from CGH, licensing department the next stop. Was asked to wait for the chief tester who gave me another round of testing with pens and markers. I think I did well enough and he finally gave me my license...

The stress of converting a license... I didn't get that many tests in HK even though Im as colorblind there as here. I guess that's how things work in Singapore...

10 comments:

Gweipo said...

phew, luckily I'm not colour blind. Is it true you have to do a written exam as well to convert your license?
A complete aside, I hear 12% of people are unable to see 3D ... don't know if it has any overlap with colourblindness.

WhiteDuskRed said...

No extra written exams but the medical exam I gotten was more stressful. And cost me an extra sgd86 onto of the sgd50 license conversion fees. My brother got thru the normal color test. His color vision is much better than mine... Ought to since he's a chef and never served me raw meat before...

Color blindness may affect 3d sight but I'm not sure how that works. It's all about the brain I suppose~ the doc said there's no cure for colour blindness so that's the reiterative story of my life. Just gotta make sure I dun lose my license else I gotta go thru it again!!!

"Just Me" said...

My hubby is color blind too! Green and Red of all the colors and I have always been amazed at how he was able to drive based o the traffic lights... i dun rem him having to go thru so many tests but then he had his oz and hk license and didnt convert to an sg one. Sometimes its funny when he asked me, "How is this purple shirt" when its some other color, or when he try to ask him look for some grey "coloured" tshirt which ends up being something completely different.

It was a new experience living with colorblinded people because I have to stop describing things only in color but to be more precise with shape and patterns...:)

WhiteDuskRed said...

Yes its a fascinating world we live in... traffic lights are not all that bad because the sequence is more or less fixed. And since most of us can tell the red lights and the red is at one end while green is the other end, we are not really such traffic hazards. In fact we might be more careful than non-colourblind drivers~

Can you imagine the day when the authorities decided to move red to the bottom and green to the top?

Samer said...

I am Certified uncurably colour blind too! :D
But one day I decided to try my mother's sun glasses on in the car and the first thing I had to notice, was the "Traffic Light"!
I see it as WHITE, as does my colour blind brother, and for the first time in 17 years I saw a GREEN traffic light. And it was so green that I felt so ashamed to have argued over it with so many people!

Other observations, the sky was less white and more sunny, and the grass was shining, the rest was the same.

I dont know what those glasses were made up of but I tried to do the colour blindness test and out of 20 I got around 15 when I d otherwise get 3.

I should have had a blog to write down my feelings back then! :D

Ray said...

im a foreign worker, got a job as a driver..im colour blind too...so, i cant drive in singapore? as a driver?

WhiteDusk said...

Hi Ray,

You got to check with the authorities on the severity of your colourblindness. They may refer you to the hospital for certification.

Ray said...

on monday i got to do my medical checkup, surely feel scared..at SATA JURONG EAST. surely they will kick me to nearest hospital for this colour test..so far can see the traffic light colour..

WhiteDusk said...

Well the test will be varied but its up to the traffic commissioner who will decide~ Good luck Ray!

Anonymous said...

Where did you take your driving test?

Worldwide Visitors