At last the DVLA has published its proposals to amend the law regarding people treated for diabetes driving class 2 vehicles.
As previously blogged, all European member states were told as far back as 2009 to get their houses in order and review their current laws.
At the time the DVLA responded saying it was reviewing its medical standards and would be having discussions with stakeholders.
It later transpired that these discussions were more about finding loopholes in the European Directive, rather than how it could make diabetics’ lives easier.
But after various MPs waded into the row, including ex-Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy who pointed out in the House of Commons the “utterly inconsistent” scenario the government had created for itself, in which foreign, registered-diabetic
HGV drivers could enter the country perfectly legally while their UK counterparts sat on the sidelines banned, a consultation magically appeared.
It can be found here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/consultations/currentconsultations.aspx and runs until 28th April.
Changes to the laws in relation to driving and epilepsy and eyesight are also proposed, and it’s worth noting that the amendments are not limited to the haulage industry but include car drivers as well.
The proposals are not about giving carte blanche to people being treated with diabetes to get behind the wheel of a 44-tonne vehicle; there are strict medical criteria with annual, individual assessments on the cards too.
As the roads safety minister Mike Penning says, albeit six months later than he should have: “We must make 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 have taken expert advice on the latest evidence on eyesight, epilepsy and diabetes and believe these proposals strike the right balance in allowing as many people as possible to drive, without compromising safety.”
For further information contact Anton Balkitis or Lucy Wood on 0800 046 3066 or visit the website if you are looking for motoring solicitors.