The Road Safety Authority (RSA) in association with the National Office for Traffic Medicine (NOTM) at the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) today announced the publication of the 2022 update of the Sláinte agus Tiomáint Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines for Group 1 and Group 2 drivers.
A new information leaflet on Medical Assessment for Fitness to Drive is also being published today. This describes the three available routes for driving assessment in Ireland. The leaflet is available on the NDLS website and will be useful to GPs, occupational and public health professionals and the general public. This new leaflet expands on the existing suite of leaflets that has been developed by the NDLS/RSA to provide information and support for drivers with medical conditions. Previous leaflets provided information about driving with epilepsy, sleep apnoea, cardiac conditions, alcohol problems, stroke, vision, short-term illnesses/injuries, general fitness to drive.
An advice leaflet for driving during pregnancy has also been developed. The leaflets provide guidance on what drivers with medical and other conditions should do to help them drive safely, including managing and monitoring their condition, seeking advice and support from their doctor(s) and, where required, notifying the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) about their condition.
Prof Desmond O’Neill, Programme Director, National Office for Traffic Medicine (RCPI/RSA) commented;
“The updated guidelines continue to support drivers and healthcare professionals with the highest level of modern research and evidence to support safe driving and mobility. This framework supports the welcome raise in the age of routine medical certification of drivers from 70 to 75”.
Mr. Declan Naughton, Director of Driver Training and Licensing, Road Safety Authority commented;
“Today we launch the latest edition of Sláinte agus Tiomáint to ensure that medical professionals have the latest information available in order to give sound advice on driver fitness to their patients. In tandem with this we launching a new leaflet outlining the processes and procedures involved in the Medical Assessment for Fitness to Drive as part of our commitment to make sure drivers have accessible information at hand on conditions that might affect their ability to drive as well as information about continuing to drive where possible”.
Dr Margaret Ryan, Programme Manager, National Office for Traffic Medicine (RCPI/RSA) commented;
“The Medical Fitness to Drive Assessment leaflet was designed and developed by medical and road safety experts in the Traffic Medicine Working Group in RCPI, in collaboration with the RSA and NDLS. It explains the assessment routes and stages and will be a useful resource for healthcare professionals and the public”.
Sláinte agus Tiomáint provides guidance on medical fitness for drivers and highlights the need for all of us to appreciate that the state of our health impacts, to a greater or lesser degree, on our ability to drive safely. Driver fitness is governed by EU law and regulations made in Ireland under the Road Traffic Acts. Sláinte agus Tiomáint is an interpretation of these laws; however, the Directive/regulations form the overriding legal basis for driver medical fitness in Ireland. One of the objectives of Sláinte agus Tiomáint is to promote mobility and to do this in a way that is consistent with safety on our roads. Once a driver is aware of any health aspects that impact on driving and follows the advice of their doctor, they can continue to drive in most cases.
The National Office for Traffic Medicine was established in 2011 as a joint initiative by the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Road Safety Authority to manage the development of Medical Fitness to Drive Guidelines and the development of traffic medicine policy in Ireland. The programme work is under the directorship of Professor Desmond O’Neill (NOTM) together with the RCPI Working Group on Traffic Medicine consisting of 37 healthcare and other professional organisations.
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