Hundreds of motorists are still on the road despite having their licences revoked because they’re not fit to drive, new stats have revealed.
A driver can have their licence cancelled or refused on medical grounds. They would then be deemed to be driving without insurance cover as well.
Motorists also have a duty to inform the DVLA of any medical condition that might affect their performance behind the wheel – which includes ailments like epilepsy, visual impairment, severe mental illness, or diabetes that results in ‘hypos’.
Yet many who are stripped of their licences, or denied, are still refusing to give up their car keys.
A new Freedom of Information request to the DVLA by Select Car Leasing has revealed a shocking 1,303 prosecutions for ‘Driving after a licence has been cancelled (revoked) or refused on medical grounds’ since 2019.
There were 269 endorsements last year alone – down from 2021’s high of 412 offences recorded. The UK began its phased exit from Covid-19 lockdown in March 2021, which may explain that year’s high figure, says Select Car Leasing.
There were also regional hotspots for unfit drivers gambling with lives – with London, Glasgow and Norwich all featuring prominently in the black list.
Graham Conway, Managing Director at Select Car Leasing, said: “The DVLA doesn’t revoke or refuse a licence on a whim. That drastic course of action is the result of a lengthy process that involves a DVLA investigation, where the agency will liaise with GPs and other medical professionals to make an informed decision.
“If a licence is taken away, it’s because that motorist is deemed to be a danger to themselves and all other road users.
“So to see such high numbers still getting behind the wheel, and being prosecuted, for driving while unfit to do so is deeply concerning.
“The consequences of someone losing control of their vehicle in a scenario while having an epileptic fit, for example, or suffering a diabetes-related loss of consciousness, has the potential to be absolutely catastrophic.
“Where there’s such an obvious risk to life, we’d urge anyone who finds themselves without a licence due to a health condition to think long and hard before reaching for the car keys.”