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A spokesman for Diabetes UK said: “We have had a number of motorists contact us to say their licenses have been revoked.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