Diabetes UK is campaigning to ensure that people with diabetes are assessed fairly for their fitness to drive. This is not always the case and the rules need to change. We believe that all people with diabetes should be able to hold a driving licence if they meet medical fitness criteria.
What are we campaigning to change?
There are a number of problems which we are campaigning to change, such as:
- People who only have severe hypoglycaemia when they are asleep (and would not be driving) should not lose their driving licence.
- Doctor's should be able to provide evidence that a person’s severe hypoglycaemia is resolved so they will keep their licence (or get it back speedily if already revoked).
- People with diabetes treated with insulin should not have to wait six months to renew the driving licence they rely on for their employment.
What has happened so far?
After campaigning by Diabetes UK, the DVLA and European Union reviewed the Directive on driving and diabetes. A change has now been agreed which will mean that people who only have severe hypoglycaemia when they are asleep (and would not be driving) will not have to report this and lose their licence. They also agreed with us that doctors should be able to provide evidence that someone's hypoglycaemia is resolved so they should keep their licence.
These changes have not come into force so you should still comply with the current law on driving and diabetes which means that if you have insulin treated diabetes you must still report more than one episode of severe hypoglycaemia in 12 months in any circumstances. FInd out more on ourdriving page.
What can you do to help?
These changes are a victory for the campaign. The DVLA are scheduled to introduce from January 2018. Every week we hear about people with diabetes losing their driving licence for reasons which are now agreed to be unjustified. We would like to see these changes introduced as soon as possible.
If you have lost your licence because of night time hypos, or have experienced other problems,share your storyto help us campaign.
Keep up to date with the latest developments by becoming aDiabetes Voice and receive our regular campaign updates.
Helen Nicholds, a 27-year-old District Nurse, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged seven. Helen’s licence was revoked in 2014 following two night-time hypos. After successfully appealing her licence was reinstated in 2015, six months after it was suspended.
Martyn is 29 and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes aged four. He has been driving for 12 years. His licence was revoked in 2013 due to two night-hypo episodes. He wasn’t able to appeal the decision and had to wait a year and a half before being able to reapply for his licence.
Steph Brunton, a Community Staff Nurse, with Type 1 diabetes lost her licence due to the EU and DVLA rule to not distinguish between night-time and day-time hypos. Diabetes UK campaigned relentlessly for a change to this rule. This work has helped Steph get her licence back sooner.