PEOPLE WHO SUFFER from blackouts, diabetes, epilepsy, dementia, cognitive impairment, sleep disorders, bad eyesight, psychiatric conditions or misuse substances could be ordered to stop driving under new medical fitness to drive guidelines launched today.
The Road Safety Authority and the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland have published ‘Sláinte agus Tiomáint – Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines’, which will act as a clear guide for medical professionals in implementing medical fitness to drive policies.
Under the remit of the guidelines, a doctor could order a motorist to cease driving for six months depending on the medical condition or until their illness is successfully treated or under control. Driver licensing authorities, Gardaí and legal professionals will also use the new medical fitness to drive guidelines to make decisions regarding a person’s fitness to drive.
The new framework has been created to help promote and prolong safe driving and to help drivers understand the impact of an injury, a disease or the way certain medicines might affect driving.
Leo Varadkar, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport says the new guidelines shows just how seriously road safety is taken in Ireland:
As a doctor I know the value of having guidance like this available to medical professionals in making decisions about a patient’s medical fitness to drive.
Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said up to now, in Ireland there has been little structured advice and support for medical professionals in the field of driver fitness. He added: “Drivers have nothing to fear. The guidelines will enable medical professionals to give advice and support to drivers who may have concerns about any condition or disease. Indeed the whole ethos… is to enable driver mobility to the greatest possible degree consistent with safety on our roads.”