I’m a doctor, not a traffic policeman
Are you safe to drive? I have no objective way of making a proper assessment – so don’t expect me to police the streets
I pose this question: ‘If a small child ran in front of your car, could you do an emergency stop?’
Wednesday 25 November 2015 18.43 GMT
I was cycling to work last week when a car swerved out from a parking bay and nearly finished me off. I was too shaken to abuse the driver, and it was lucky I didn’t. She wound down the window to apologise and I recognised the tremulous, apologetic lady as one of my patients.
She wasn’t looking when she pulled out, but she says it’s never happened before. She’s never been in an accident and is in reasonable health. Should she be driving? Is she dangerous? Should she tell the DVLA? Should I, if she doesn’t?
The General Medical Council is consulting on draft guidance over the thorny question of confidentiality. Should a doctor inform the DVLA if they know a patient is driving when they shouldn’t be? The answer, at the moment, is that a doctor must inform the DVLA if a person continues to drive against medical advice. Every effort is made to encourage a person to stop driving and inform the DVLA themselves. But if they don’t, doctors have a duty to do so.