PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Canberra. A drivers licence is critical to everyday life for most Australians.
This is why I am so concerned about a new standard introduced by AustRoads and the National Transport Commission that may unfairly deny a licence to thousands of diabetes sufferers.
Diabetes sufferers must already take extra precaution when driving and follow strict medical guidelines.
The new standard, however, now requires a glycated haemoglobin level of less than 9.0% — an arbitrary figure that will diminish doctor discretion.
This standard was introduced without consulting diabetics and is at odds with key research which states that the risks of driving with diabetes “are not sufficient to warrant further restrictions to driving privileges.”
The change will greatly disadvantage people like father and daughter Malcolm and Tahlia Whittle who both have diabetes and now face uncertainty as to whether they can retain a licence.
This standard must be reviewed urgently. We should be doing everything we can to help Australia’s 900,000 diabetics, not make life harder with rigid regulation.