Monday, November 21, 2011

Diabetics Become Road Haulage Drivers and Wireless Blood Test Apps Coming

Change to Law - But Rules Must be Obeyed
Shipping News Feature

UK – Last week saw a change to Britain’s driving laws to permit people suffering from insulin treated diabetes to work within the road haulage industry as commercial vehicle drivers of all Group 2 category vehicles including lorries and buses. UK drivers are subject to EU regulations which set out the minimum medical standards for licences and car and motorcycle driving laws changed in a similar way in September 2010.

The key points for diabetes sufferers to watch, as well as demonstrating full awareness of their condition, are that they have been treated with insulin for at least four weeks, have had no severe hypoglycaemic events in the past year, must monitor sugar levels at least twice a day and have approval from their specialist consultant. Full details of the DVLA consultation on this subject, plus those on epilepsy and vision standards, can be seen HERE. The changes came with full agreement from the Freight Transport Association whose policy manager Ian Gallagher commented:

“This change in the law could mean some people who were previously prevented from driving are now able to regain their livelihood and their independence. Of course it is vital to make sure that only drivers who are safe to do so are allowed to drive on our roads, but the government is confident that medical advancements in treatment and diagnosis mean that a blanket ban is no longer needed. This change will give those whose condition is under control the opportunity to work and to make a useful contribution to society.”

The testing equipment demonstrating that sufferers have adequately monitored their blood glucose levels will obviously need a memory function to show they are complying with the regulations. Lately Ford have tested various in vehicle medical analysis products, including specially developed apps for wireless blood monitoring using technology from US firms Medtronic and WellDoc.

Photo: ‘Diabetes for Dummies’ by Dr Alan L Rubin MD