Drivers with medical conditions could soon be suspended from driving for up to a year

Drivers who have been diagnosed with a medical condition will soon be obliged to inform the Road Safety Authority (RSA) if a GP deems them unfit to be behind the wheel. For the first time ever in Ireland, GP’s and doctors will have formal guidelines which will help them determine if restrictions on car use are necessary for affected motorists. Depending on the medical condition, doctors may even recommend a temporary suspension on driving for some people.

The guidelines, developed by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, were made available to doctors and GP’s last month, and will outline what driving restrictions doctors should apply to people with heart conditions, epilepsy, etc. Under these new guidelines, motorists deemed medically unfit to drive will have to inform the local authority which issued their driving license.

Drivers who don’t inform their licensing authority run the risk of being refused car insurance if they cause a traffic accident. However, the RSA is assuring motorists these measures are about keeping drivers with medical conditions on the road, and that suspensions will only be enforced in extreme circumstances. Below are some of the recommended guidelines for selected illnesses:

  1. Those diagnosed with epilepsy will require being seizure-free for a whole year before driving. However, they can be issued a standard 10 year license if they have not had a seizure for five years.
  2. Anyone who experiences chest pains, feeing dizzy or black-outs can be suspended from driving until their condition is diagnosed.
  3. Those who have had a stroke will be suspended from driving for a month after the stroke