Driving licence revocation by the DVLA on medical grounds has reached a five year peak last year with more than 73,000 drivers having their licences withdrawn – a 50 per cent increase compared to 2014.
Research by car selling site Motorway.co.uk, which analysed DVLA data, found that alcohol was the main reason for driving licence revocation along with a driver being affected by seizures or blackouts.
For help putting procedures in place for employee driving licence checks contact our safety experts today.
Driving Licence Revocation on Medical Grounds
So far in 2019, 36,310 car or motorcycle licences (Group 1) and 6157 lorry or bus licences (Group 2) have been medically revoked. Of these, almost two-thirds (65%) of drivers were 50 years old or over. More than 800 teenage drivers (829) have had their licences medically revoked.
Meanwhile, more than 2800 motorcycle or car drivers have had their licences revoked in the past 18 months for sleep related conditions, including narcolepsy. More worryingly, the DVLA figures show that close to 1000 bus or lorry drivers have had their licences revoked over the same period because of blackouts or a sleep condition.
If a driver has their driving licence revoked on medical grounds, they can reapply for their licence once their doctor states they meet the medical standards for driving.
The rules are different if a driver voluntarily surrenders their licence. Under these circumstances, they can drive while a licence is being renewed. That is if the driver has the support of a doctor, a valid licence, is not disqualified and their last licence wasn’t revoked.
Workplace Driving | Employer Advice
What effect is this increase in driving licence revocation having in the workplace, with many employees needing to drive either to get to their place of work or as part of their job role?
“These figures make for quite frightening reading, but they could be just the tip of the iceberg. How many people are driving with a medical condition and haven’t informed the authorities?”
“You can be fined up to £1000 if you don’t tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving, but is that really a strong enough deterrent?” comments Alex Buttle, director of Motorway.co.uk.
In 2014, 48,941 licences were revoked, but this has increased by 50 per cent over four years to a peak of 73,724 in 2018. So far this year the top 5 conditions within the total figure of 42,576 licences to be revoked have been:
- 1. Alcohol (5,450 licences revoked)
- 2. Seizures (5, 417)
- 3. Eyesight (4,534)
- 4. Memory Problems (4,175)
- 5. Mental Health (3,268)
The risks of driving are constant, and however conscientious you are when you’re behind the wheel, there will inevitably be times when you simply cannot anticipate or account for the actions of other road users. It stands to reason, therefore, that companies who employ people to drive as part of their work need to take very careful precautions to ensure fleet compliance.
The potential implications of failing to do so are severe – as are the punishments to which offending employers can be subjected. Regular and robust licence checking processes are can be used by business owners to defend against potential issues.
For specific advice on employee driving licence checks and other issues managing safety in your workplace, please contact the Wirehouse Health and Safety team today.