According to regulations currently in place, drivers suffering from certain medical conditions must surrender their licences every 12 months and apply for renewal. In the time it takes for the DVLA to complete the renewal review process, drivers can still legally operate on UK roads by obtaining a letter from the regulator giving them permission to do so. One would think renewal should only take a few weeks, but that is not necessarily the case – as was discovered by a Polish driver who lives and works in the UK.
HGV driver Marek Durkiewicz surrendered his licence earlier this year and he was given his letter from the DVLA. He hoped his renewal would be concluded swiftly, given that his work takes him throughout Europe. He was also planning to drive home to Poland on holiday. Yet five months after filing his renewal paperwork, the process had still not been completed. Durkiewicz missed his holiday and remained restricted in his driving at work.
System Needs to Change
Durkiewicz did eventually get his licence back thanks to the efforts of a pro bono solicitor who contacted both the Department for Transport and the Secretary of State for Transport challenging the validity and timeliness of the current process. Solicitor Agata Dmoch contended that the process violates the European Union's fundamental right to free movement. Her argument was successful, resulting in the HGV driver getting his new licence issued promptly. Dmoch hopes the incident motivates the DVLA to fix a potentially serious flaw that can completely, but unnecessarily, up-end the lives of drivers forced to surrender their driving licences for medical purposes.
As an employer, do you have any way of knowing whether one of your drivers has a medical condition mandating the surrender of a driving licence? The services we provide make it possible for you to always know the legal status of workers using company vehicles. We have direct access to the DVLA database, making it possible for us to return real-time information to our clients regarding licence suspensions and revocations, penalty points, endorsements, eligible vehicle classes, and more.
Fleet Licence Check has been offering affordable and reliable claims handling and licence checking services for more than 20 years. We would be happy to assist you with one-off services or put together an all-in-one package custom-designed around the size and needs of your business.
1.Birmingham Post – http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/business/legal/pro-bono-birmingham-lawyer-wins-9835992