The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in association with the National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine (NPOTM) at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland today announced the publication of the new information leaflets at the 2016 update of the Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines for Group 1 & 2 Drivers.
The new leaflets have been produced by the RSA and the NPOTM to support the Sláinte agus Tiomáint Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines, which were developed to enable the medical assessment of drivers to promote safe driving and prolonged mobility.
The patient leaflets aim to educate drivers and to promote mobility by providing them with the information and resources necessary to drive safely. Drivers will be more aware of any health aspects that may impact on driving with Cardiac Conditions, Diabetes and Alcohol. They will also provide advice about when they may need to contact the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) to notify them of their condition.
Prof Desmond O’Neill, National Programme Director for Traffic Medicine at RCPI welcomed the publication of the leaflets.
“Driving safely with medical conditions places an obligation on drivers, health professionals and the National Driver Licence Service. As a complement to the extensive work undertaken on developing guidelines on medical fitness to drive for doctors and other health professionals, these leaflets are an important part of a wider campaign to ensure that those with conditions that may affect driving safety are aware of current practice. A further range of conditions will be addressed in leaflets currently in progress and supported by a range of public information meetings nationwide. “
Speaking at the launch, Mr Declan Naughton, Director, Driver Testing and Licensing in the RSA said,
“Behind every tragedy there is an event, something that causes a catastrophic incident that changes lives forever. We know in the case of road collisions that small margins can make all the difference, for example, are your tyres properly inflated or do they have the correct tread depth? Today we are focussing on medical factors, whether you drive with alcohol in your system or whether you have heart disease or diabetes; it impacts on your driving. It’s about managing these factors appropriately and the advice contained in the leaflets will help those affected to drive in a way that keeps us all safe. It’s about each driver understanding that small margins can lead to tragedy and none of us wants to be the person that brings that about.”
At today’s launch, the RSA Research Grant was announced, which is worth €40,000 to the successful applicant. Applications are invited from those who wish to carry out research in a topic related to Traffic Medicine or Medical Fitness to Drive.