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Re: Driving licences was [IPk] hospitals, sliding scales etc

I'm interested in this issue as it underpins many areas in which people with
diabetes might suffer unnecessary discrimination.

We all know that driving with a severe hypo would be irresponsible, and most
of us even during a hypo would still be fully aware of this, or no longer
physically able to drive a car. Hence, if we are otherwise fully fit and
able drivers, why shouldn't it be left up to our own responsibility, just as
is the case with alcohol?

As a doctor, I could not make the judgement that any person using insulin
will or won't have hypos. Do I exclude busy people in their twenties with
less ordered lives, or people trying to achieve excellent control, or users
of high-tech devices like pumps? To ask any doctor to do this is a nonsesne,
and exposes people with diabetes to error, misinterpretation and individual
preference on the part of the doctor. All are inequitable.

Has a single major road accident been prevented by such a ruling? I doubt
it. I am well aware that Diabetes UK considers the UK authorities to have
interpreted EU legislation with excessive gusto, hence the situation you
find yourselves in. Other EU countries don't do this, and whatever you may
all think about lax legislation in Ireland, it's also possible that it is
the UK that has got this one wrong!

I used to attend road accidents on a regular basis when I lived in
Cambridge. Most were related to alcohol, illegal substances, and speed. Very
accurate information is now gathered by all agencies involved, and I would
suggest that someone find out whether hypoglycaemia is linked with road
accidents in any way (eg whether the proportion of involved drivers were
insulin using PWD's) and if not, start lobbying for removal of this
prejudicial requirement.

Sorry for going on, but it is about having a normal life isn't it?

Tony O'Sullivan

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Neale" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 9:33 AM
Subject: RE: Driving licences was [IPk] hospitals, sliding scales etc

> In my experience, where, what and how you are allowed to drive is one of
> the most powerful symbols of national identity :-) Some societies regard
> driving as a right, others as privilege.
> My 3-year UK licence (clean, no severe daytime hypos) expired 2 years ago,
> but because I was then (and am still) resident in Germany, DVLA in Swansea
> were unable to issue me with a replacement. This alarmed me as I had
> visions of having to take a German driving test... In fact that wasn't
> necessary, but the form filling and paper chasing took 6 months to
> complete, and my UK licence had in fact expired before I got the
> replacement German one.
> What is interesting is that my new German licence has no expiry date on
> If I become unfit to drive (lose hypo awareness or eyesight goes etc) it
> my responsibility to give up my licence. There is a logic there as it is
> statistically most likely to be myself that I kill.
> John
> --
> mailto:email @ redacted
> http://www.webshowcase.net/johnneale
> ----------------------------------------------------------
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