DEPARTMENT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
AMENDMENT TO THE ROAD TRAFFIC (JERSEY) LAW 1956 AND
THE MOTOR VEHICLES (DRIVING LICENCES) (JERSEY) ORDER 2003
1. Purpose of the Report
To gain the approval of the Minister for changes to the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 and accompanying Order.
Since the adoption of the Third Directive, 2006/126/EC (the Third Directive) on driving licences, which came into force in UK domestic legislation in 2013, a number of changes have been made to the medical requirements for driving licence issue. The Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 and Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Jersey) Order 2003 have not been subject to amendment in respect of medical requirements since 2003. The proposed amendments cover:
Reviewing the period for renewal of a vocational licence.
Reviewing the prescribed diseases or physical disabilities when considering a person’s physical fitness before being granted or after being granted a licence;
Reviewing the period for renewal for persons with certain medical conditions.
Reviewing the period for renewal of a vocational licence
The Third Directive on driving licences, which came into force with effect from 19 January 2013, sets an administrative validity of licences for categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1, D1E at five years.
It seems reasonable that (in line with the United Kingdom) Jersey driving licence categories C, CE, D and DE be limited to five years validity and that periodic medical examinations be undergone by applicants wishing to renew these categories at every renewal after the age of 45.
This will place an additional cost on such applicants, around £50 for licence application and £50 (private doctor’s fee) for completion of associated medical form (if required). However, due to the size of large goods vehicles and the number of passengers carried in large passenger vehicles it is desirable that medicals for drivers of those categories of vehicles be carried out at least every five years from the age of 45, at the time of renewal of the licence. Additional extension to prescribed diseases allowable for licence issue also require that issuing authorities can adequately minimise risk to other road users from drivers holding vocational licences. This can be achieved by way of Regulations to amend the Law which gives the Minister power, by Order, to issue licences of less than 10 years without having to go back to the Privy Council.
The Third Directive recognises two groups of drivers for medical purposes:-
- Group 1 relates to vehicle categories A, A1, A2, AM, B, B1 and BE. Currently Jersey does not have vehicle categories A2 and AM.
- Group 2 relates to vehicle categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 and D1E.
The medical licensing standards for Group 2 are more stringent than for Group 1 drivers. The processes and higher medical standards aim to balance the additional risks to road safety presented by the size and weight of the vehicles being driven and the greater time the driver may spend at the wheel in the course of their occupation.
In 2011, a consultation was issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) on changes to the UK minimum medical standards for vision, diabetes and epilepsy in relation to driving. The document sought views on the implementation of revised medical standards in the UK.
A total of 132 organisations and individuals commented on the proposals. These included a cross section of interested parties including, Individuals, Advanced Driving Instructors, General Practitioners, Local Government, Optical Organisations, Road Safety Organisations, Medical Charities and Organisation who represent individuals with an interest in the medical fields of vision, diabetes or epilepsy.
It is proposed that the same medical standards that are in place in the UK are adopted in Jersey. The prescription of these diseases and physical disabilities are as follows:
- Liability to sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting which are caused by any disorder or defect of the heart;
- Liability to sudden attacks of disabling giddiness or fainting, other than above;
- Persistent misuse of drugs or alcohol, whether or not such misuse amounts to dependency;
Additional medical standards are implied but not prescribed in either Jersey Law or associated Order nor UK Acts or associated Regulations. They are covered in authorised guidance material issued by the licencing authority and it is the opinion of the Medical Officer of Health that this amendment should align with these documents. This will require amendment to the driving licence application form and supporting medical reports.
The Minister is recommended to agree the proposed amendments to the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 and Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Jersey) Order 2003.
5. Reason(s) for Decision
- To harmonise the period for renewal for vocational licences and prescribed diseases with other licensing authorities, particularly the UK;
- To provide more effective means for the issuing authorities addressing the continuing fitness and/or competence to be granted a licence;
- To bring the legislation in respect of driving licences up to date;
6. Action Required
Head of DVS to instruct the Principal Legislative Drafter to amend the Road Traffic (Jersey) Law 1956 and Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Jersey) Order 2003.
Senior Traffic Officer – Driver and Vehicle Standards
Inspector of Motor Traffic