From the 15 February 2019, UK drivers that suffer from insulin treated diabetes have new options of how to test their glucose levels before driving.
After much campaigning on the issue, the DVLA has announced that car drivers and motorcycle riders can now use flash and continuous glucose monitoring devices to check their glucose readings before they drive. Previously the rules stated that such drivers must undertake a finger prick blood reading no more than 2 hours before driving.
If using the new monitoring systems drivers must still complete the finger prick test if
- their glucose level is 4.0 mmol/L or below
- they experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia
- the glucose monitoring system gives a reading that is not consistent with the symptoms they are experiencing (for example, they feel the symptoms of hypoglycaemia but the reading does not indicate this)
The new rules do not apply to bus and lorry drivers who must continue to use the finger prick blood test.
The chief Executive of the DVLA, JUlie Lennard said;
We want to make it as safe and as easy as possible for drivers to get on the road. Our panel of medical experts who help set the medical standards for driving are always looking at how we can use advancing technologies, and we’re pleased to be able to offer drivers another way of how they monitor their glucose levels.
This is also an opportune moment to remind drivers that if they treat diabetes with insulin then they are required to tell the DVLA. Those that treat by way of diet only do not need to inform the DVLA.
Nikki Joule, Policy Manager at Diabetes UK that campaigns on behalf of Diabetics in the UK and is an excellent source of knowledge and advice on Diabetes in the UK celebrated the changes saying;
The new guidance, which means that Flash Glucose Monitoring and Continuous Glucose Monitoring can be used in driving, is a major victory for people with diabetes.
Innovative technologies such as these make people’s lives easier, because they improve their ability to monitor their blood glucose levels day-to-day and manage their condition safely, including whilst driving.
We look forward to keep on working with the DVLA to make sure people living with diabetes are treated fairly, and that everyone is able to hold a driving licence if they meet medical fitness standards.
If you are diabetic and you are in any doubt as to whether you need to notify the DVLA you should consult your doctor.