The new rules impact bus and lorry drivers with insulin treated diabetes. From 30th November 2011, people with insulin treated diabetes who wish to drive buses and lorries will benefit from a change in law. The change will allow drivers to apply to DVLA for a licence to drive all categories of vehicles.

Until now, no one with insulin treated diabetes has been able to drive buses and lorries. Under the new rules those with insulin treated diabetes will be considered provided specific criteria are met.

Road Safety Minister, Mike Penning, said: “Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and licensing rules have an important role in maintaining this position. We must make sure that only those who are safe to drive are allowed on our roads, while at the same time avoiding placing unnecessary restrictions on people’s independence.

“We have listened to expert advice and it is clear that treatment and diagnosis has improved since the existing medical standards were put in place, so a blanket ban is no longer needed. These changes strike the right balance in allowing as many people as possible to drive, without compromising road safety.”

The changes follow a consultation earlier this year on amendments to driver medical standards on eyesight, epilepsy and diabetes in line with European minimum medical standards for drivers. Responses to the proposed changes for vision and epilepsy are being analysed and an announcement on these proposals will be made in due course.

Changes for drivers of cars and motorcycles who suffer from recurrent severe hypoglycaemia have already been introduced in September 2010 in order to meet the European minimum medical standards. DVLA has contacted the European Commission to confirm its understanding of the interpretation of the minimum standards required by the Directive.