Hypo driving ban u-turn
A ban on people with diabetes who have severe hypos at night could soon be overturned after changes to European driving laws, a charity has said.
The rules, which were originally introduced in 2011, previously saw a number of people lose their licence “unnecessarily”.
However, experts on driving and diabetes across Europe came together last year to review the EU Directive and voted overwhelmingly for amendments, which Diabetes UK has welcomed.
The European Commission is now recommending the driving ban for people experiencing recurrent severe hypoglycaemia when asleep should be lifted.
They will ask the DVLA to make the necessary legislative changes by January 2018.
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.
As these changes have not yet been implemented, drivers with diabetes should continue to comply with the law and inform the DVLA if they experience one or more episodes of severe hypoglycaemia, including when asleep, within a 12-month period, and of any changes to their condition that may affect their ability to drive.
Chris Askew, Diabetes UK chief executive, said: “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.
“Now that the European Commission and medical experts are all in agreement that this rule needs to be changed the DVLA must act on this advice as a matter of urgency, ensuring legislative processes are in the place for the rule change to be effective by January, 1 2018.
“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.”