By Will Roberts
People with epilepsy or eyesight problems may be affected by new minimum driving licence standards.
Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond will announce changes to the laws following a recent public consultation on the implementation of European minimum medical standards for drivers.
The changes, which come into force from 8 March, affect both those applying for a regular driving licence and those looking to drive buses and lorries.
Mr Hammond said: "Road safety is a top priority for the Government and our licensing rules play an important part in keeping our roads safe. We must make sure that only those who are safe to drive do so, while at the same time avoiding placing unnecessary restrictions on people's independence."
"These changes strike the right balance in allowing as many people as possible to drive, without compromising safety."
While UK standards must be at least at the level of the EU minimum standard, the Government does not have to relax existing domestic standards where they are higher than the EU ones. In most cases, the UK rules were already at or above the level of the EU minimum standards
The changes announced by Mr Hammond will include:
Group 2 - Buses & Lorries
A relaxed visual acuity standard for the "weaker eye" when each eye is separately examined. Generally eyesight can be weaker in one eye than the other.
Group 1 - Cars and Motorcycles
Drivers who have only ever suffered seizures in their sleep may now be considered for a licence after one year, instead of the current requirement of three years.
The revised rules will allow drivers who have only ever suffered seizures that have no impact on consciousness or the ability to act to apply for a driving licence one year from the date of their first seizure. Currently these drivers can only be licensed if they are free from these seizures for a period of 12 months.