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Diabetic Motorists having licences revoked

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A large number of motorists are having their licences revoked due to new EU directives according to Diabetes UK.

The directive, introduced last September, states that any driver suffering two ‘hypos’ (a drop in blood sugar levels) within 12 months should have their licence revoked.

Although the directive is not a change in the law in Britain, the DVLA is taking a stricter approach to rules.

“We have had a number of motorists contact us to say their licences have been revoked,” said a spokesman for the charity.

“The number does appear to be increasing in recent months.”

There are an estimated 1 million motorists across Britain who suffer from diabetes and require insulin.  As a result, they are required to renew their licences every one to three years.

According to Diabetes UK, the change in enforcement has emerged as motorists have submitted their licences for renewal.

“We believe that people with diabetes do not pose a greater risk than other motorists as long as they take all the necessary precautions every time they drive,” said a spokesman for the charity.

The plight of drivers who need insulin to control their condition was raised in the Commons by Bob Russell, Lib-Dem MP, after increasing numbers of motorists were having their licences revoked by the DVLA due to stricter measures.

Mr Russell said,  "The DVLA is interpreting in a way which if carried out could lead to people having their licences taken away when they are perfectly competent to drive and may have done so for decades."

A spokesman for the DVLA defended the Agency’s approach.

“Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and licensing rules have an important role in maintaining this position.”

“We must apply European medical standards but we consider every case individually and only refuse licences where absolutely necessary.”

By Ben Malkin

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