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Hope for drivers with diabetes?

New research into the effects of diabetes on road safety has been published today by the Department for Transport.The research examined the rate of 'hypos' in people with different types of diabetes. It suggests that insulin-treated Type 2 diabetes may not present as serious a risk to drivers as has previously been thought. The research will now go for further study to verify its findings.If proven correct, the research could have implications for the driving licence entitlements of people with Type 2 diabetes in the early years of insulin treatment. Stephen Ladyman, the road safety minister, said: "This is interesting research which we will need to consider carefully. We plan to get the research peer reviewed to check the validity of the findings as there are potentially serious implications for driving licence entitlement."As a result of that review we will assess whether any changes to licence restrictions may be necessary." The results of the research will be considered by the Secretary of State’s Medical Advisory Panel on Diabetes and Driving. An EU Medical Expert Working Group, which has been considering the minimum medical standards for diabetes and driving, is also due to report shortly. The panel will await the recommendations of this group before advising on whether there should be changes to driver licensing arrangements in the UK and, if so, over what timescale. Diabetes UK will be monitoring this situation closely and will be working with the Department for Transport to ensure a fair deal for people with diabetes.

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