Page last updated at 22:24 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Council debates diabetic taxi ban

Diabetics who depend on insulin to control their condition may be banned from driving taxis in part of Nottinghamshire.

Newark and Sherwood District Council met to discuss whether to withdraw licences from type one diabetics and is to issue a statement on Friday.

It currently assesses the health of diabetic drivers individually.

Some councils ban taxi drivers with the condition in case they suffer a hypoglycaemic attack at the wheel.

After a meeting on Thursday evening a council spokesman said a decision had not been reached but that a statement was due to be issued later.

Before the meeting, Roger Fell, whose ex-wife was killed in a collision near Southwell involving a diabetic driver three years ago, said assessing each driver on a case by case basis was not good enough.

"It has got to be stamped on and Newark and Sherwood have got an opportunity to set a high standard here," he said.

No charges were brought against the driver involved in the crash.

There is no reason why people with diabetes should not be issued with a taxi licence
Saranjit Sihota, Diabetes UK

Saranjit Sihota, head of public policy at Diabetes UK, said: "Many people with diabetes are perfectly fit to drive taxis and should not be denied the chance to earn a living.

"As long as the diabetes is well-controlled and there are no complications that would impair someone's safety, there is no reason why people with diabetes should not be issued with a taxi licence.

"While we accept some restrictions may be necessary, we are strongly opposed to blanket bans which assume that all people who treat their diabetes with insulin pose a greater risk on the roads compared to people who do not use insulin."

A specialist in diabetic medicine was at the meeting to advise committee members.

People with type one diabetes have to inform the DVLA, but can drive cars. They are generally not allowed to drive larger vehicles.



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