Diabetic drivers face license revoke threat: Telegraph

12.16 | 19 September 2011 | | 7 comments

Up to a million motorists with diabetes could be at risk of losing their licenses because of a tougher line being taken by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), reports the Telegraph.

According to the charity Diabetes UK there has been a sharp rise in the number of drivers having their license revoked following the introduction of a new EU directive in September 2010.

The directive says that any driver suffering two ‘hypos’ – a drop in blood sugar levels – within 12 months should have their license revoked.

Although the directive does not represent a change in the law in Britain, its introduction has led to a far stricter interpretation by DVLA of existing rules, claims the Telegraph.

A spokesman for Diabetes UK said: “We have had a number of motorists contact us to say their licenses have been revoked.

“The number does appear to be increasing in recent months. One cause of concern is what appears to be a change of approach towards nocturnal attacks. In the past these did not appear to be taken into account. Now they are.”

Drivers with diabetes are required to renew their licenses every one to three years and, according to Diabetes UK, the change in enforcement has emerged as motorists have submitted their licenses for renewal.

The spokesperson continued: “We believe that people with diabetes do not pose a greater risk than other motorists as long as they take all the necessary precautions every time they drive.”

A spokesman for the DVLA defended its approach, saying: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and licensing rules have an important role in maintaining this position.

“We aim to strike the right balance – making sure that only those who are safe to drive are allowed on our roads, while at the same time avoiding placing unnecessary restrictions on people’s independence.

“We must apply European medical standards but we consider every case individually and only refuse licenses where absolutely necessary.”

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    At the nub of this is do diabetics that have nocturnal hypos present an increased statistically proven risk on the road? If not, then it is completely unwarranted oppression of people with a physical condition.

    Nigel, London
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Seems type 1 diabetic are disabled when it suits the government – I did not ask for this condition.

    phil manchester
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I have just had my licence taken away after driving for 33 years. My journey to work used to take me 40 mins in my car now I have to take 2 buses and it takes me 1 1/2 hours. They haven’t requested any detals from my Dr. They obviously no nothing about diabetes and we are all guilty as far as they are concerned. I would suggest that anyone affected writes to their MP so we try and turn this stupid ruling around

    kazbar Sheffield
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    This is ridiculous! Seriously! Whats next, people with cancer and HIV having their licence revoked. How does having diabetes prevent me from driving well / safely? You need to have a mandatory eye test anyway when renewing your licence, so what is the problem??

    Linda, Eltham
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I was in the army for 15 years, until I got type 1 diabetes. Not only have I lost my job, had all my heavy goods licences taken off me, but now they want my car licence. I am a single parent of 3 children, and living in the country side, where a car is my life line. Type 1 diabetes is classed as not a disability, but it feels to me that it is. It’s hard enough having it, and dealing with disease as it is. This will just tip me over the edge.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    This will put millions out of work and a further strain on the benefits agency, and people who want to work should be given every chance to do so. Families will lose their homes, and the obvious strain on relationships that will cause. Our government should step in and tell DVLA not to enforce the rules ad finitum, after all DVLA is a government agency, is it not?

    Sue Edwards, Wirral
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I would respond to this issue with a one-word challenge – evidence. Whilst agreeing that all drivers should be medically fit to operate a vehicle, I would like to see the results of the research that proves that the action of the DVLA is necessary, based on proof that diabetics are presenting a significant problem to road safety.

    The DVLA spokesman says that they aim to strike the right balance, perhaps they have failed to do so by over-reacting and misinterpreting the European Directive.

    Roy Buchanan, Epsom
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.