Controversial proposals are being made to make the roads safer in Scotland, which will see drivers deemed ‘unfit’ targeted by police. This will include potentially banning people from driving if they are considered to be too old, or vulnerable due to a medical condition.
Currently, motorists must inform the DVLA if they suffer from several impairing conditions, such as epilepsy, sleep apnoea, diabetes and glaucoma. A doctor may require an individual to surrender their license if they deem it no longer safe for them to drive.
Chief Inspector Elaine Logue is pioneering the new programme, and is keen to see a pilot launched in Aberdeenshire. Under the proposals, police forces would work closely and more actively with the health service to identify drivers potentially ‘unfit’ for the roads.
“A lot of people killed on our roads are down to driver error or unfitness to drive. This may be down to medical issues,” she said.
“We need a new, innovative way to deal with this and we are working on this at a command level. One person killed on the roads is one too many.”
Brake, a road safety charity, has already backed the idea. They have previously urged the UK government to introduce compulsory eyesight tests for road users. Research has shown that 2,900 road accident causalities occur per year due to poor eyesight, whilst a survey discovered that 1.5m drivers in the UK have never had their eyes tested.
James McLoughlin, a representative for the charity, said: “Driving is one of the most complex and potentially dangerous things many of us do on a daily basis, so it is vital that our health is up to the task.
“There are a whole range of health conditions that can affect your driving, and we would urge anyone who suspects they have developed an impairing condition to refrain from driving and seek advice from their doctor, and the DVLA.
“If you drive impaired you’re risking your own life, and the lives of other road users. Don’t get behind the wheel if you’re not fit to drive – it’s not worth the risk.”