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Decision on ban of HGV licenses for diabetics delayed

By: Deborah Bates
29 December 2010

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has delayed the consultation regarding diabetic HGV drivers, after failing to receive the go-ahead from the government to publish it.

Road Transport reports that drivers who are dependent on insulin are currently banned from holding Category Two HGV licenses, however the charity Diabetes UK is campaigning for the replacement of generic bans with individual assessments.

The head of policy, care and improvement for Diabetes UK, Bridget Turner, claims: "The potential to change to individual assessment is long overdue, as the livelihoods of people with diabetes on insulin are at stake under the current system of blanket bans for Category Two licenses."

However the DVLA has defended the restrictions, releasing a statement to confirm its stance: "Clearance ensures that regulatory proposals are based on good-quality evidence and are communicated effectively among relevant departments. This scrutiny ensures that only necessary changes are introduced with the appropriate agreement of all those with an interest."

Archie Meechan, a professional driver living with diabetes, has commented on the situation in Personally Yours. Meechan is one of thousands that are involved in driving work but the ban has delayed him advancing his skills. In a recent letter received by Meechan from the DVLA, the authority claimed it is "still awaiting the final cross-government clearances for publication so it is now unlikely that the consultation will be launched until the new year."

In addition to the HGV blanket ban, Diabetes UK is also campaigning against an additional HGV ban. Currently those with diabetes treated by insulin are not allowed (by law) to drive a blue-light emergency vehicle - including ambulances and fire engines.

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