Will people with diabetes be driven off the road if eating ban law is passed?

Recently I wrote a blog about having to renew my drivers license with the DVLA. This was whilst posing the question as to whether this was cautious behaviour when it comes to driving safety, or discrimination towards people with diabetes. You responded in your hundreds by reading and sharing the blog – raising awareness of what is going on. So you can understand why I was horrified to hear that not only is the law looking to ban eating behind the wheel. But also that the first man has apparently been booked and fined for doing it and the specific law hasn’t even been passed yet! (Although there is a law for not driving with due care and attention).

Now I have to state that I support the law 110% in making sure that everybody on the roads is able to commute in a safe and accident-free manner. However, my question is this- if a law is passed stating that people driving motor vehicles can’t eat or drink whilst behind the wheel, what does this mean for people with diabetes? As the law currently stands if you have diabetes and start having a hypo (although blood sugars should always be checked before heading out), then you should pull over at the safest available point. Taking the keys out of the car's ignition and move over to the passenger side, treat the hypo and wait at least 45 minutes to ensure that your safe to drive.

However, hypos don’t often happen unexpectedly. What I mean by that is that imagine the situation whereby you need to drive somewhere over lunchtime for example. And whether your on a pump or injections you would usually eat something at lunch time. At the moment perhaps you would consider having a snack in the car as a preventative measure in stopping your blood sugars going low before it even happens. But if a law is passed to prevent you doing this or having a swig of a sugary drink, or perhaps the very fact that you’d effectively be fasting during your car journey. Would this then mean that people with diabetes are no longer safe to drive?

Let that sink in for a minute- the majority of us believe that having diabetes should not and currently does not have to stop you doing anything. But if a law is passed that takes control out of your hands think of the effect this could have on your work if you commute, your social life if you can’t get to your friends and thus your quality of life. But on the other hand if the law specifically relating to eating behind the wheel is passed, perhaps special dispensation will be given to people with diabetes because of the special circumstances. But as the law is under debate at the moment lets all keep our fingers crossed that people with diabetes aren’t driven off Britain’s roads.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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