European ruling could see licences restored to banned Diabetes sufferers

Diabetes UK has welcomed European Commission ruling
Diabetes UK has welcomed European Commission ruling

MORAY MOTORISTS WHO suffer from Diabetes will no longer be forced off the road thanks to changes made to European driving laws – and some who already have could get their licence back.

Diabetes UK say that the rule changes from the European Commission will bring an end to those with diabetes losing their licences – in many cases without good reason.

The charity has said that cases where those suffering from Type II Diabetes and consequently treat their condition with insulin had been unfairly treated by the DVLA, in that if they had one or more episodes of hypoglycaemia – commonly known as ‘hypos’ – they could lose their driving licence.

Hypos are caused when a Diabetic’s blood sugar fall to low levels and they require assistance, when that happens they are obliged to inform the DVLA. However, the DVLA has not differentiated between daytime and night-time Hypo episodes – and that meant affected drivers losing their licence unnecessarily.

That is a position that has been agreed by the European Commission who have said that those banned after experiencing recurrent hypoglycaemia while asleep should be lifted.

Chris Askew, who is the chief executive of Diabetes UK, welcomed the decision, saying: “The European Commission is absolutely right to ask the DVLA to overturn the ban on night-time hypos, and we are delighted this is happening having campaigned for five years now to get this ban lifted and put a stop to some people with diabetes losing their driving licence unfairly.

“Beyond the unfairness, losing their driving licence has caused people all sorts of unnecessary stress and anxiety, even in some cases leading to people losing their jobs.

“It is, of course, absolutely imperative that we ensure everyone on our roads is healthy and safe to drive. But this must be done in a way that is fair, and not to the detriment of drivers with diabetes who are currently unfairly penalised.”

The DVLA has insisted that their top priority was always to make sure people were safe to drive, adding that those suffering a Hypo while asleep under current EU rules would not be able to drive.

A spokesman added: “These changes will mean that licensing can be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on medical evidence and risk assessments. We have worked with the EU to introduce this common-sense approach.”