Proposals have been put forward by the DVLA (Driving Vehicle Licensing Agency) to extend restricted licenses for people with diabetes on insulin from up to 3 years to up to 10 years.
The changes would apply to people with Group 1 licenses covering the driving of cars and motorbikes. If the new proposals are accepted, the changes could be in place early in 2015.
Currently people with diabetes on insulin need to re-apply for a new driving license every three years and delays in the re-application process can see people going without a driving license for significant periods of time before a new license is issued. This can have negative effects on people’s lives, including affecting employment.
Safety is a big part of driving on insulin and people with diabetes are required to notify the DVLA if they experience a loss of hypo awareness (inability to recognise the early symptoms of too low blood glucose levels) or have had more than one severe hypo within the last 12 months.
Diabetes UK’s Head of Policy, Robin Hewings stated in response to the new proposals: “We are delighted to see this as we know that many people with diabetes find the current system unfair and intrusive and that delays are causing real distress and anxiety and in the very worst cases their jobs are at risk so we are pleased that the DVLA has listened to our concerns.”
Diabetes UK is one of the organisations that have been fighting for fairer terms for people with long term medical conditions. The charity will continue to help the DVLA to implement the proposals to ensure people with diabetes are not unfairly disadvantaged.

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