A new directive by the European Union and due to come into effect in October, could mean thousands of diabetic drivers in the UK who take insulin having their licences revoked. The rule change introduces a new classification that says many people suffering from diabetes could be seen as unfit to drive, and which could force people who have being driving for many years without any problems – but whose diabetes means they have more than one hypo in a 12-month period – off the roads.
However, the move has been challenged by the charity Diabetes UK, which argues that up to a million diabetics who use insulin could be negatively affected by the change. They also claim that there is no proof that drivers who have diabetes are a greater risk than those without it.
The charity also claims that the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) may be applying the directive more strictly than necessary. The EU directive does not include people who have hypos when asleep as part of their definition, but that the DVLA does include it for checking fitness to drive.
Simon O’Neill, from Diabetes UK, commented “People can often experience hypos when asleep, and we believe night-time hypos have no medical basis of relevance to driving.”
He added “We have expressed these concerns to the DVLA and the minister for transport, and we are working with the DVLA to try and ensure the process for applying and re-applying for licences is fair, consistent, transparent and safe.”

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