The Freight Transport Association has welcomed changes in the law which will now enable people with insulin treated diabetes to apply for vocational licences to drive buses or lorries.
Under new rules which came into force on 15 November drivers who would normally be prevented from obtaining or driving a vocational licensed vehicle will now have their applications considered by the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA), albeit the driver will be required to conform to a very strict monitoring regime.
Ian Gallagher, FTA policy manager, said:
"This change in the law could mean some people who were previously prevented from driving are now able to regain their livelihood and their independence. Of course it is vital to make sure that only drivers who are safe to do so are allowed to drive on our roads, but the government is confident that medical advancements in treatment and diagnosis mean that a blanket ban is no longer needed. This change will give those whose condition is under control the opportunity to work and to make a useful contribution to society."
The changes follow a consultation earlier this year on amendments to driver medical standards which looked at standardising medical rules on diabetes, epilepsy and vision across EU Member States. An announcement on proposed changes regarding vision and epilepsy is expected next year.