Driving licenses and diabetes (FOI)
Driving licenses and diabetes (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 23 October 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
There are an estimated 4,500 people with Type 2 Diabetes in Jersey. It is not known how many of them currently hold Jersey Driving Licences. Whereas UK law does not require car or motorcycle drivers who have Diabetes treated by tablets to disclose their condition provided they remain free of certain complications, Jersey law does require this to be disclosed to the parish authority that issued the licence. Moreover, by law, this disclosure can only be done by means of a GP completing and signing a 'Confidential Medical Report' (D4) form on behalf of the Type 2 Diabetic. The cost of taking this 'Driving Medical Test' in order to be able to furnish the parish with a valid D4 report varies by medical practice but is known to be as high as £87.50 at the present time.
Income Support claimants with Type 2 Diabetes have recently been told by Social Security department officials that they cannot receive a Special Payment to cover the cost of taking this test. Instead, they have only been offered a loan which would then be repaid by future deductions from their benefit. The Diabetes Jersey charity has been made aware of the problem but has so far refused to offer any financial assistance.
Although Diabetes treated by tablets is not one of the 'disqualifying diseases and physical disabilities' listed in the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Jersey) Order 2003, an obscure amendment to its parent law, the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956, passed unanimously by the States in December 2001 without any recorded vote, today allows the Minister for Infrastructure to decide for himself by means of an administrative decision only (not a ministerial decision) which medical conditions must be disclosed to the parish for the purposes of obtaining and holding a Jersey Driving Licence. Thus the requirement for all Type 2 Diabetics to disclose their condition to the parish, regardless of any complications or the type of vehicles their licence allows them to drive, is achieved by classing their driving as likely to be "a source of danger to the public".
Clearly a decision with such wide-ranging consequences for thousands of Type 2 Diabetics in the island and which directly conflicts with the disclosure requirements on the UK mainland needs to be fully justified by the island's Medical Officer of Health or other health professionals on a regular basis.
Therefore please supply all documents in the possession of the Minister for Infrastructure which constitute advice from medical professionals on which he or his predecessors have relied upon for the purposes of deciding that that the current disclosure requirements for Diabetics are justified.
Following a review of our electronic and paper records, Growth, Housing and Environment have been unable to locate any information that relates to your request.
However, a Ministerial Decision was made on 8 January 2019 which aims to bring the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 and Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Jersey) Order 2003 in line with UK legislation regarding driving licences.