• Petitioned Patrick Allen McLoughlin MP

This petition was delivered to:

Rt Hon
Patrick Allen McLoughlin MP
Interim Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer (COO) - DVLA
Ms/Mrs Judith Whitaker
Interim Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officer (COO) - DVLA
Ms/Mrs Judith Whitaker

DVLA and UK Government: Stop the blanket suspension of drivers licences for diabetics.

    1. Petition by

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly

      Liverpool, United Kingdom

The current UK DVLA legislation regarding diabetes mellitus (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:223:0031:0035:EN:PDF) was introduced by the European Union in 2011 and has faced opposition from the UK Prime Minister David Cameron as well as Diabetes UK (http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/21/driving-licence-form-revamp-diabetes). The directive is grossly unfair and incredibely myopic for reasons that are outlined below.

The directive states that if two "severe" hypoglycaemic episodes (defined as requiring assistance from a third party to treat or recover from) occur in the space of one year, these episodes must be mentioned in the DVLA's DIAB1 form (http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@motor/documents/digitalasset/dg_066647.pdf) when applying or reapplying for a driver's licence. If it is the case that a diabetic has suffered from two severe hypoglycaemic attacks in the space of 12 months then the driver's licence is immediately suspended. The DVLA and the DIAB1 form however do not consider any context with regards to these hypoglycemic attacks and context plays a huge part in the severity of a hypoglycemic episode.

After having type 1 diabetes mellitus for twenty-two years and after driving for eight of these, I was informed today that after reapplying for my driver's licence it was being suspended due to the reasons above. The hypoglycaemic attacks that I mentioned in the form occurred whilst I was asleep and therefore, I had no awareness of them.  It was only when my girlfriend and paramedics had helped me to recover did I realise what had happened.

Unawareness of night-time hypoglycaemia is medically referred to as "asymptomatic nocturnal hypoglycaemia". This phenomenon is well documented by the scientific community with many experiments devoted to its investigation (see http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pmed.0040069, http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/42/9/1233.short, http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199806043382303 etc). I have excellent hypoglycaemic awareness when fully conscious and have never had a "severe" hypoglycemic attack whilst awake. Therefore, I find the grounds on which my licence being suspended completely unjustifiable as I have never endangered any other person by driving whilst hypoglycaemic.  Neither will I ever pose a risk unless my hypoglyaecemic awareness disappears altogether. I am sure that my opinion is shared by thousands of other diabetics who are in similar situations.

I rely on my car for many things: getting to work, picking up shopping, going to my diabetes clinics etc. and the fact that I am no longer able to do this, even though I pose no credible risk to other motorists, is devastating. The directive sets out rules that are both over generalised and not supported by any medical evidence whatsoever.

Furthermore, the response I received from the DVLA does not indicate what medical grounds my licence has been suspended upon, the length of the suspension or the date I can reapply. This information should be provided as stipulated by the DVLA themselves (see "part 3" of the following website: https://www.gov.uk/driving-medical-conditions/what-the-dvla-will-decide).  As mentioned here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/dec/21/driving-licence-form-revamp-diabetes), the DVLA state that:

"We must apply European medical standards but we consider every case individually and only refuse licences where absolutely necessary. We regularly review our forms to make sure they are as clear as possible and are pleased to be working with Diabetes UK to ensure all our information on this important subject is well understood."

The letter I have received states that "From the information given on the forms I have to advise you that you do not meet the standards required to hold a driving licence". No other information was provided other than that I had had two hypoglycaemic attacks in the space of 12 months and it does not appear that the DVLA have even contacted my GP or diabetes nurse specialist to quote, "consider every case individually and only refuse licences where absolutely necessary". As can be seen on the DIAB1 form however (http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@motor/documents/digitalasset/dg_066647.pdf) there is no space to elaborate on the details of these hypoglycaemic attacks nor is there space to comment upon my own diabetes management. Based upon a 90 day sample of 138 readings, my average blood glucose averages at 8.8 (hypoglycaemia usually occurs when blood glucose is less than 3.5) with a standard deviation of 5.1. Given these figures I am extremely unlikely to suffer from hypoglycaemic attacks as my blood glucose is far higher on a tightly controlled average than blood glucose readings that would indicate hypoglycaemia. The information capable of being provided on the DIAB1 form is just too narrow for such a contextual condition such as diabetes and basing the decision to suspend a person's drivers licence based upon such limited information is bordering upon discrimination.

Please help me to improve this legislation for other diabetes mellitus suffers like myself who are being treated unfairly by an agency that cares little about the subjectivity of such a complex condition.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,500 signatures
    2. Video Update

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      This was recorded on Sunday (so I sent my reapplication today) but have only just had chance to put the video up today! Thank you to everybody for continuing to support the petition and for spreading the word about it :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dcW7zp5l8g

      DVLA Petition Update 5

      Uploaded by Martyn Lloyd-Kelly on 2013-05-12.

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. Website live!

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer
      Website Up!

      Uploaded by Martyn Lloyd-Kelly on 2013-04-23.

    5. Video Update

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer
      DVLA Petition Update 3

      Uploaded by Martyn Lloyd-Kelly on 2013-04-21.

    6. Video Update Clarification

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      After watching the video below back I realise that I say that the news report is on at both 18:00 and 20:00 on Monday, to clarify, the evening bulletin is at 18:00. The segment will be shown throughout the day too but in a shortened version but the evening version will be of a longer length :)

    7. Reached 250 signatures
    8. Granada Reports

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      Amazing development: I was interviewed by Granada Reports today for a segment that will go out on Monday's bulletins. For those of you living in the Granada area you will be able to check it out. For others you may need to check out an internet site, I'll post links as and when I know about them.

      I have tried to get everything in that's important but obviously, some things will be edited out due to time - I have no control over this process might I add. Needless to say I tried to make the situation and point of the petition clear but I have a feeling that a lot of the focus may be on my own situation. I hope they give a balanced account but that's all I can do: hope.

      Will keep you all updated as and when things happen, if anybody could clarify whether the "D1 Pack" mentioned on the DVLA's website under "Reapplication after Driver's Licence Suspension" contains extra forms to declare the context of hypos I would be most appreciative.

      Thank you all and keep sharing!

      - Martyn

    9. Reached 200 signatures
    10. Video Update

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer
      Petition update 1

      Uploaded by Martyn Lloyd-Kelly on 2013-04-18.

    11. 100!

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      Hello again!

      My word! I'm blown away, I really am. I've been promoting this petition all day but this is really something now, 100 signatures in less than 24 hours! Hopefully the petition will keep growing and we can get the message across. I'm currently planning a couple of moves that should see this petition and the wider issue noticed by the right people. I will update with a video soon (as promised), I'm just in the middle of tweeting, emailing and replying to forum posts! I also need to find time to eat in between all of this...

      Once again, thank you all so much for your support, it means the world to me and every signature gained is a step in the right direction for all diabetics in the future.

      Best,

      - Martyn

    12. Reached 100 signatures
    13. Hopefully a big update later tonight

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      Hello everyone!

      Wow, I never expected this to get such a response, I'm a little overwhelmed at the moment!

      There's been some very positive and unpositive (see my last post) progress today but I'm keeping busy.

      I'll update with a video later as there's a lot to talk about it and I'm getting RSI from sitting at this keyboard (I still have plenty of e-mails to send regarding this). Needless to say that I do believe that we have a real shot at making a positive change to the lives of type 1 diabetics in the UK if the petition and the events surrounding it continue to develop in the way that they have over the past day!

      Thank you once again for all your support, it means the world to me. Keep sharing!

      - Martyn

    14. Spoken to DVLA

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      Hello everyone,

      I have spoke to the DVLA and they have said that my licence was indeed revoked because I ticked the box on the DIAB1 form indicating that I had suffered from more than one severe hypoglycaemic episode in the past year.

      I tried to inform them that my blood glucose control is perfectly fine, that all healthcare professionals whose care I am under are happy with me and that nocturnal hypoglycaemia and daytime hypoglycaemia are two separate issues as obviously, whilst asleep I am unconscious. Their response: "there is no difference between them, we adhere to the standards set out by the Secretary of State". When I asked to speak to the people who told the operative what to say I was told that "You can't, we will only speak to your GP or another medical professional".

      To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. Please keep sharing and please keep supporting. This is just plain wrong from both a medical and personal standpoint.

      - Martyn

    15. 50 signatures in 12 hours :)

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      Once again, thank you to everybody who has signed, left a message or even read this petition, your support is invaluable.

      With regards to my own situation I've been told by my GP this morning that should I contact the DVLA they will give their full support to my request for a reinstatement of my licence due to my good blood glucose control and the seriousness with which I take my diabetes. Hopefully I can make some progress.

      With regards to the wider issue I'm attempting to get hold of an e-mail address for the DVLA's "Drivers Medical Group" so that updates regarding this petition will be sent to them. I've also been in contact with Diabetes UK's "Advocacy" group whom I will be asking for support and advice. I've also attempted to tweet prolific Twitter accounts related to diabetes such as @DiabetesTweets @DiabetesUK and @diabetesdaily to ask them to share this petition with their followers. Unfortunately I've not had any response yet.

      Will keep you all posted, thank you again!

    16. Reached 50 signatures
    17. 21 signatures in less than 40 minutes!

      Martyn Lloyd-Kelly
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you to each and every person who has signed so far, please keep sharing to strengthen the weight of the petition. I'll be calling the DVLA tomorrow to dispute my situation and the directive in general. I will also be e-mailing my MP shortly to get the petition and the issue noticed on a wider scale and by people with some power to alter the directive.

      Thank you once again and keep sharing :)

    18. Reached 10 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Adele Harrison ST HELENS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 months ago

      Totally unfair policy

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Steve Grady ST HELENS, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 4 months ago

      I'm type 1 Diabetic, I go to extreme lengths to keep my blood sugars stable and yet I'm discriminated against by the DVLA

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • tony knight LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 5 months ago

      im type 1

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • zia Fatih LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 5 months ago

      People who are restricted by this unreasonable legislation regarding diabetes feels as been treated as invalids and consequently many suffer mentally as a direct result. 99.999% of the victims of this Legislation are fully capable of assessing there on fitness and ability to drive. Greater numbers of accidents occur on motor bikes, push bikes and crossing the roads. We should ban people from crossing the roads.

      In short this is a totally unreasonable legislation that needs to be removed.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Steven Day NUNEATON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 6 months ago

      Am also type 1 that needs to drive!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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