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Drivers Face Eyesight, Epilepsy and Diabetes DVLA Licensing Rethink

February, 6 2011

DVLA

Drivers may need to meet new minimum requirements when current standards are reassessed by the DVLA.

Drivers may need to meet new minimum requirements when current standards are reassessed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The changes are due to be introduced following the implementation of European minimum medical standards for drivers.

The UK will be forced to meet the new minimum standards that the EU introduces, but not made to relax the existing high standards.

The advice from the Secretary of State's Medical Advisory Panel is that relaxing the standards will meet road safety requirements, and the new standards should be introduced by the UK.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning believes that people should be given the right to drive if they meet Europe-wide requirements.

“Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and licensing rules have an important role in maintaining this position.

"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.

"We would welcome views from anyone affected by the changes and will consider all representations before setting out our final decisions.”

The period of consultation will continue until 28 April 2011, and the amendments are expected to be major.

Epilepsy sufferers who only experience seizures whilst asleep will be considered for a licence after one year rather than the current requirement of three years.

Furthermore, drivers whose seizures that have no affect on the ability to act or conciousness can be considered for a license after one year.

Diabetes sufferers will not be issued or have their license reviewed if they experience recurrent severe hypoglycaemia and/or hampered hypoglycaemic awareness.

People with reduced eyesight capability will only need to read a number plate from 17.5 metres rather than the current distance of 20 metres.

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