DVLA And Medical Reporting

By: A.C.

The subject that I am about to try and comment on, is without doubt probably one of the few occasions where individuals are left to choose a path that will probably affect their job, mobility & social life amongst other unforeseen results.

Failing to make this choice could have devastating consequences for innocent people who use the road, and as result of not complying with the self–reporting part of the system then tragedy could occur.

The system I refer to is the moment when a doctor, consultant or specialist says: “This condition now affects your ability to drive, and you have to tell the DVLA”. This is different to when a doctor tells you that you can no longer drive and you must surrender your licence .

You must tell the DVLA if you have a driving licence and:

• you develop a ‘notifiable’ medical condition or disability
• a condition or disability has got worse since you got your licence
Notifiable conditions are anything that could affect your ability to drive safely. They can include:
• epilepsy
• strokes
• other neurological and mental health conditions
• physical disabilities
• visual impairments

The Driver Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) has published a very long list of notifiable health conditions that could affect one’s ability to drive or control a vehicle.

First time licence holders and people who attain the age of seventy and apply for a new licence are also subject to the same rules.

This restriction could affect the categories of vehicles one is allowed to drive, e.g. the size & weight, pulling trailers, and whether it is an HGV, Bus, Taxi, or delivery vehicle. These restrictions are designed to allow someone to drive, according to their ability and protect other road users, through restriction or adaptation of their vehicle.

Suppose someone has had intermittent laser treatment to one eye for diabetic retinopathy. That in itself will not trigger the requirement to tell DVLA. Laser Therapy is about zapping unwanted micro–blood vessels in the eye which grow and often bleed. The trigger is when both eyes have to be treated and the potential ‘field of view’ becomes restricted and the driver’ s vison becomes impaired, especially their peripheral vision. So the patient is told to report this to DVLA.

I leave you to consider how many people would actually inform DVLA if there was to be a disturbance in their life and livelihood. The need to report one’s medical condition was evident in the recent Fatal Accident Enquiry in Glasgow involving a Bin Lorry which careered out of control and killed six people.

A useful number to report a medical condition to DVLA Medical Enquiries is
03007 906806.

You can also send a brief email and they will get back to you.

A text number is available from BT if you input your own mobile number, at their online phone directory but I simply cannot find a text or minicom number readily available through the DVLA’s own website.

On receiving the required declaration & medical consent forms by post, you will have three choices, and you have to sign a form declaring your choice.

• Surrender your driving licence and return it immediately.
• Surrender your driving licence, but declare you have lost it or it has been stolen.
• Not surrender the driving licence and then return the Form V1 with the medical consent forms.

Having received the form by post, you now have 21 days to send it back or have your licence revoked for non–compliance.

Maybe it is time to take the voluntary part of informing DVLA out of the hands of those who also have to decide if the condition will affect their business, job, income or lifestyle?

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2 Responses to DVLA And Medical Reporting

  1. AC says:

    4/10/2015: Bin Lorry Driver Harry Clarke, was arrested regarding alleged traffic offences, which involve his driving whilst banned, due to his licence had been withdrawn because of medical reasons.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-34438129

    “A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) into the deaths heard DVLA officials withdrew Mr Clarke’s car licence for 12 months and banned him from driving HGVs for 10 years on 25 June this year.”

  2. AC says:

    “An inquiry into the Glasgow bin lorry crash has found the tragedy could have been avoided if the driver had not lied about his history of blackouts. Harry Clarke, 58, was unconscious when the lorry veered out of control on 22 December 2014, killing six people.

    The inquiry report states that he “repeatedly lied in order to gain and retain jobs and licences”.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-35025408

    It found eight reasonable precautions that could have prevented the crash. All relate to his hidden medical past.

    The fatal accident inquiry (FAI) at Glasgow Sheriff Court, before Sheriff John Beckett, examined the circumstances of the tragedy.”

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