Change DVLA process


#1

Correct me if I am wrong but isn't it an offence in the 1988 Road  Traffic Act if you drive a  vehicle that you cannot control at all times.   Not just for PWP but every driver in the land.

THis being the case what's all this beurocracy about telling the DVLA you have PD,  filling in forms and getting consulants to tick a few boxes ?   A waste of all our time.  And as for the DVLA medical group taking 2 months in making a decision to revoke your licence based on tick box. What a good,  well paid job for some.

YES  PWP must be reminded that they   commit an offence if they drive a  vehicle that they cannot control at all times. 
YES PWP should retake a driving test  when the cosultant says so.
YES PWP should have a medical when the consultant says so                         

but all the forms to filll, letters going back and forth,telephoning to chase delayed decisions,  cannot really be justified in my opinion

Will Parkinsons UK support reforming the process for controlling driving licences for PWp ?

take care !


westby


#2

I agree, having been since September 2014 trying to get my licence back after filling in the DVLA very ambiguous form.


#3

hi Alan,

I  notified DVLA 8 years ago when first diagnosed with PD.  This was followed by two 3 year licences and then a 1 year licence.

  • Feb 2014   re-applied for renewal of 1 year licence
  • April 2014  licence 1 year licence expires,  DVLA write saying  can continue driving until decision is made
  • Sept 2014 my licence is revoked
  • Nov 2014 see my Consultant Neurologist
  • Consultant writes letter to DVLA
  • Feb 2015  I get 3 year licence

And in this entire 12 month process  was my driving ability assessed ?  No..  Nor has  it been over last 8 years.

And talking with people with full licences until they are 70,  I find common statements are :-

  • I don't drive on motorways
  • I never drive at night
  • I don't drive in wet conditions
  • I avoid driving when below zero
  • I cannot drive for more than an hour without a break
  • my eyesight is not what it was so I avoid driving if I can

The process needs changing,  to be fair for all road users and to evaluate driving competence not box ticking

take care !

westby


#4

Hi,

I find myself in the same boat as Alan.  I sent off to DVLA to renew my licence at the beginning of August (2014) as my current 3-year one was due to expire at the end of the month.  I ticked the box that asked if I freeze and I thought I'd qualified it by writing "only when walking" - which is true, I had never had a problem while driving.

About a month later, I received the dreaded "Dear John" letter - they were revoking my license  based on the advice of their medical department - but without even consulting my neuro or even my GP!   This really caused a problem - mainly as I am a self-employed building contractor with jobs dotted about all over West Sussex & Surrey - but I am just about managing to cope (with both my wife and my business partner's help).

I phoned DVLA and told them I had passed an Experienced Driver Assessment earlier in the year and they told me to write in and appeal, which I did, immediately (early September).  They then sent me the same forms again which I completed and returned with a copy of my EDA Certificate.  I also spoke to my neuro and GP and they both agreed to give positive feedback as they thought I was fit to drive.

On December 1, I received a letter from DVLA saying that they had written to both of the above and that I should expect a reply within six weeks.   So, from the middle of January, I waited anxiously for the post to arrive every day - but NOTHING!

So I rang DVLA again.  They said that they hadn't received a reply from my neuro - she said she'd never received anything from them!!!

So, the latest is that they have sent another? questionnaire to my neurologist which she filled in in front of me yesterday and now I have to wait for them to process it - while clinging to the hope that I get a positive response.  

That's six months without a license stuck out in the countryside relying on others.  It is all so unnecessary!

Regards

Gary

 


#5

 

I applied the next day i'd been diagnosed october the 2nd,

they sent the forms, filled in i returned them, a few weeks alter they sent a update basically stating waiting for a reply from the Neuro, another form appeared in jan for a short period licence i sent that off and then 6 days later a 3 yr photo licence dropped though the letter box.

i don't drive on motorways~ there isn't one in suffolk to drive on.

I seldom drive at night as i'm home mostly these days and nights.

i don't drive much in the wet, our little country B class roads are mud baths from agricultural machinery.

I don't drive much in  zero conditions as no one ever grits or clears our roads of snow, we are often blocked in.

it takes a hour too get too our county town ipswich, but i'd rather catch the park n ride, it's let hassle with all the road works.

My eyesight is fine although i have a brain like a pot noodle lolcool


#6

Hi all,

 

Thank you Westby for raising this issue and thank you all for sharing your experience. Can I just clarify what the main problems you are finding are? Is it long waits, that it's not clear what to put on the form or a feeling that they don't understand Parkinson's well enough?

 

Westby, you talk about driving tests, do you feel these should be introduced instead of the forms?


#7

Hi Eorann - I think it's the combination of a few things:

Forms are too generic and don't really give you the option to elaborate;

The length of time it takes to sort through the bureaucracy - I don't think they use emails, it seems to be all by post!

Maybe they should apply some sort of test/assessment before each 3 year renewal - there could be no grey areas then.

Regards,

Gary

 


#8

 

I'm Afraid i disagree.

I think you should be careful in what your wish for, if you start talking about a standard driving test instead of a opinion by the Neurologist, I Can see that as a excuse for insurance companies too null your Decades of driving experience and start Banging up insurance £££prices££££ for the sake of it beyond reach, That's one way too force people off the road, not great when you live in the countryside and there is no buss service.

 

 


#9

Hi all

apart from all the points mentioned,I don't see how a Neuro/Doctor can possibly give an opinion about ones driving since they have never sat in a car with their patient, so it all seems a bit crazy. The people who know best are ones passengers. My wife's has said to me on many occasions that she would not allow me to drive if she did not think I was safe,particularly as I quite often,at least once or twice a week, pick up our grandchildren.She did if fact write to the D V L A pointing out this but they did not seem interested. It's silly when you consider lives are a stake here and hands on knowledge is just as important as medical.  I'm sure you will agree that Our nearest and dearest are our biggest critics when it comes to However all said I, like other contributors to this discussion, am still waiting for the snails pace DVLA to get their act together !!!

AlanJ


#10

Hello

I applied to renew my licence back in early May 2014 and it took DVLA until Jan '15 for them to write to me to inform me that they couldn't renew my licence until I had done an assessment.  I thought about this for a few weeks but decided not to take the assessment, which would have given me so much anxiety, that it wasn't worth it as i had decided not to drive anyway.  I've been driving  for 15 years with PD  out of 45 years in total and it's such a nuisance not to be able to go down the road to the library, shops etc.. 

It's a pain but that's how it is.

All the best

Casie


#11

 

Have been reading all your posts about DVLA with interest, my driving licence of 3years will expire in December this year, hands up who thinks I should apply now???


#12

i informed dvla of new diagnosis in sept , had letter in jan to say sign and return to accept 3 yr licence or old license cancelled 6 feb . so signed and returned and heard nothing . tried ringing but can never get through. sent email but just get reply saying once heard from consultant will inform you! i assume will eventually receive new license and can continue driving 


#13

Sheffy - sounds like a good idea!!


#14

Hi Shefinn

All I would suggest is that you are very careful how you fill the DVLA form in with particular attention to the question about freezing. This was where I made my mistake.

AlanJ


#15

 

Thanks AlanJ and Gaz for your for your input, will have a good think about what to do

 

Sheila


#16

hi Eorann,

     Thanks for responding. Can we talk on phone ?

I feel that you keep your licence to  drive when diagnosed and there is no need for form filling and to get a neurologist and DVlLA medical team involved.  The law is very clear about being in control at all times.

If that is a bridge to far -  why not re-test everyone with Parkinsons who drives

And if we do have to keep all this form filling my main issue is the DVLA  form PK1  has a question 3 (b)  about freezing:-

3  do you experience :

(a)................

(b) Sudden and unpredictable severe slowing up (off periods or freezing)

(c) ........................

My consultant ticked yes.  This in my opinion results in loosing your licence.  And it is mainly the F word.  I now say to consultant that that I slow down as the levadopa drops off,  but it is predictable (4 hours after taking last tablet) and not sudden (it takes  a  few minutes.) I avoid the F  word "freezing" and ask my carer - my wife, to do the same.

So that is my main point if we must keep the form  - change the wording of 3c  to say

does your movement slowdown  ::

  • suddening - in seconds
  • unpedictably
  • slowing over the course of a few minutes allowing you to pull over  and come to a safe halt
  • predictably as medication wears off

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Another point I avoided mentioning until now is question 4 of DVLA PK1.   Being in receipt of DLA (PIP soon) these questions again are impossible to get right. For DLA I describe a bad day, for DVLA  PK1 I describe a good day.  That's fine as long as the two government departments don't compare.


take care !

 

westby

.


#17

Thanks all, this is all very helpful. I will discuss the forms and delays with the team and see what we can come up with to help. I'll report back here with what we are going to do.  Westby you are very welcome to contact me on my work number which is 020 7932 1325


#18

Hi Eorann

Great to hear you could be getting involved with this DVLA debacle.It would appear that they are not well versed with Parkinson's, its symptoms and the resulting effect on the patient .whilst I often have difficulty in walking to my car, once in it I have no Parkinsons problems which affect my driving. I have in fact been told on many occasions ,by my passengers, ' you wouldn't know you had Parkinsons when you drive'. This is a point of which I am sure the DVLA are not aware of or do not wish to be aware of.Instead they go on the medical reports which I am sure, you will agree, are not always indicative of the drivers ability or capability. Although I would admit in some cases they are important. It appears that there should be a better form which is more suitable for Pd sufferers in particular. It could make life a lot easier for both us and the DVLA employees.

my particular case has now been going on since last September and looks as though, from their last letter, that it could be quite a few weeks before I hear anything further from the medical team and then assuming it is a positive outcome it could then take another 6 weeks for a licence to be issued. Incidentally they banked my £50  cheque for renewal of my licence back in December, which I thought, in my infinite wisdom, meant they had made up their mind to reinstate my licence but alas no such luck. Is the DVLA that hard up !!!!!!

Lastly I am sure any dialogue from you with the DVLA on our behalf could carry some weight I this matter and I am sure would be appreciated by your members. I am happy to help with more information if necessary.

regards

AlanJ


#19

 

Forgive me if i'm wrong Alan but i was under the impression a change too a short period licence and for medical reasons is Free of charge?. i see there is a £50 charge if the licence is revoked, but surely that should still come under 'medical reasons'??. that is one point that should be looked at especially if the holder indicates they wish too reapply/appeal.


https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-fees


#20

Hi Sea Angler

You could be right,but the forms are so difficult to understand that I thought it best to send the money so as not to give them a chance to return my application. If and when this is resolved I will take it up with them. Thanks for the info.

AlanJ