Fitness to Drive

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th April 2018.

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Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay 12:00 am, 19th April 2018

What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of medical requirements for holding a driving licence in ensuring that drivers are fit to drive.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The current driver licensing arrangements take into account the risks that an individual poses to road safety and are designed to be fair and proportionate to all drivers who remain fit and competent to drive, regardless of age. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency keeps all its medical driver licensing policy and processes under review.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Conservative, Torbay

The Minister will be aware that the current system of car driving licence renewal includes no requirement at all for independent medical evidence to ensure that a driver’s health or eyesight meet the legal requirements. Does he agree that this self-certification process is inadequate and open to abuse, and will he agree to review it?

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

There is no evidence—certainly none that we are aware of or that has been brought to our attention—to suggest that requiring independent medical evidence in relation to a driver’s health or eyesight would lead to an improvement in road safety. The current process is balanced and proportionate, and focuses resources on drivers who need medical investigation. Those drivers—in fact, all drivers—are legally obliged to notify the DVLA if they develop a medical condition that could affect their ability to drive safely. Where a driver has failed to do so, the DVLA will investigate notifications from concerned friends, relatives, the police or medical professionals.