Diabetic driver jailed for dangerous driving
Darren Lock, 41, admitted dangerous driving after a collision caused by his blood sugar level dropping to a very low level as he made his way from home from Bedford railway station.
The condition, known as hypoglycaemia automatism, caused Lock to lose control of his car and crash into a lamppost, before hitting 46-year-old William Dawkins.
Mr Dawkins suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck, a punctured lung, a broken leg and a burst artery in his arm, and spent a week in intensive care.
Under the Road Traffic Act, drivers are legally obliged to inform the DVLA of any medical conditions that could potentially impair their driving.
Lock failed to do so and this was taken as an aggravating factor in his sentencing.
Legal restrictions surrounding diabetic motorists have been tightened in recent years thanks to an EU directive. Any sufferer who suffers from two such drops in blood sugar levels – so called 'hypos' – within twelve months should have their driving licence revoked.
Currently diabetic drivers who take insulin to control their blood sugar level are required to renew their licences every one to three years.
Speaking to The Telegraph, a spokesman from the DVLA defended its tough stance on the matter, stating: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and licensing rules have an important role in maintaining this position.
"We aim to strike the right balance – making sure that only those who are safe to drive are allowed on our roads, while at the same time avoiding placing unnecessary restrictions on people's independence.
"We must apply European medical standards but we consider every case individually and only refuse licences where absolutely necessary."
In addition to the custodial sentence, Lock was also banned from driving for three years and will have to re-sit his driving test before having his licence reinstated.