Search Legislation

Road Traffic Act 1988

Status:

This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Physical fitness

92Requirements as to physical fitness of drivers

(1)An application for the grant of a licence must include a declaration by the applicant, in such form as the Secretary of State may require, stating whether he is suffering or has at any time (or, if a period is prescribed for the purposes of this subsection, has during that period) suffered from any relevant disability or any prospective disability.

(2)In this Part of this Act—

  • “disability” includes disease,

  • “relevant disability” in relation to any person means—

    (a)

    any prescribed disability, and

    (b)

    any other disability likely to cause the driving of a vehicle by him in pursuance of a licence to be a source of danger to the public, and

  • “prospective disability” in relation to any person means any other disability which—

    (a)

    at the time of the application for the grant of a licence or, as the case may be, the material time for the purposes of the provision in which the expression is used, is not of such a kind that it is a relevant disability, but

    (b)

    by virtue of the intermittent or progressive nature of the disability or otherwise, may become a relevant disability in course of time.

(3)If it appears from the applicant’s declaration, or if on inquiry the Secretary of State is satisfied from other information, that the applicant is suffering from a relevant disability, the Secretary of State must, subject to the following provisions of this section, refuse to grant the licence.

(4)The Secretary of State must not by virtue of subsection (3) above refuse to grant a licence—

(a)on account of any relevant disability which is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, if the applicant has at any time passed a relevant test and it does not appear to the Secretary of State that the disability has arisen or become more acute since that time or was, for whatever reason, not disclosed to the Secretary of State at that time,

(b)on account of any relevant disability which is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, if the applicant satisfies such conditions as may be prescribed with a view to authorising the grant of a licence to a person in whose case the disability is appropriately controlled,

(c)on account of any relevant disability which is prescribed for the purposes of this paragraph, if the application is for a provisional licence.

(5)Where as a result of a test of competence to drive the Secretary of State is satisfied that the person who took the test is suffering from a disability such that there is likely to be a danger to the public—

(a)if he drives any vehicle, or

(b)if he drives a vehicle other than a vehicle of a particular construction or design,

the Secretary of State must serve notice in writing to that effect on that person and must include in the notice a description of the disability.

(6)Where a notice is served in pursuance of subsection (5)(a) above, then—

(a)if the disability is not prescribed under subsection (2) above, it shall be deemed to be so prescribed in relation to the person who took the test, and

(b)if the disability is prescribed for the purposes of subsection (4)(c) above it shall be deemed not to be so prescribed in relation to him.

(7)Where a notice is served in pursuance of subsection (5)(b) above, any licence granted to the person who took the test shall be limited to vehicles of the particular construction or design specified in the notice.

(8)In this section “relevant test”, in relation to an application for a licence, means any such test of competence as is mentioned in section 89 of this Act or a test as to fitness or ability in pursuance of section 100 of the [1960 c. 16.] Road Traffic Act 1960 as originally enacted, being a test authorising the grant of a licence in respect of vehicles of the classes to which the application relates.

(9)Without prejudice to subsection (8) above, for the purposes of subsection (4)(a) above—

(a)an applicant shall be treated as having passed a relevant test if, and on the day on which, he has passed a test of competence to drive which, under a provision of a relevant external law corresponding to subsections (3) and (4) or (6) and (7) of section 89 of this Act, either is prescribed in relation to vehicles of the classes to which the application relates or is sufficient under that law for the granting of a licence authorising the driving of vehicles of those classes, and

(b)in the case of an applicant who is treated as having passed a relevant test by virtue of paragraph (a) above, disclosure of a disability to the authority having power under the relevant external law to grant a licence to drive a motor vehicle shall be treated as disclosure to the Secretary of State.

In this subsection “relevant external law” has the meaning given by section 89(2) of this Act.

93Revocation of licence because of disability or prospective disability

(1)If the Secretary of State is at any time satisfied on inquiry—

(a)that a licence holder is suffering from a relevant disability, and

(b)that the Secretary of State would be required by virtue of section 92(3) or (7) of this Act to refuse an application for the licence made by him at that time,

the Secretary of State may serve notice in writing on the licence holder revoking the licence with effect from such date as may be specified in the notice, not being earlier than the date of service of the notice.

(2)If the Secretary of State is at any time satisfied on inquiry that a licence holder is suffering from a prospective disability, the Secretary of State may—

(a)serve notice in writing on the licence holder revoking the licence with effect from such date as may be specified in the notice, not being earlier than the date of service of the notice, and

(b)on receipt of the licence so revoked and of an application made for the purposes of this subsection, grant to the licence holder, free of charge, a new licence for a period determined by the Secretary of State under section 99(1)(b) of this Act.

(3)A person whose licence is revoked under subsection (1) or (2) above must deliver up the licence to the Secretary of State forthwith after the revocation.

(4)Where a person whose licence is revoked under subsection (1) or (2) above—

(a)is not in possession of his licence in consequence of the fact that he has surrendered it to a constable or authorised person (within the meaning of Part III of the [1988 c. 53.] Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988) on receiving a fixed penalty notice given to him under section 54 of that Act but

(b)delivers it to the Secretary of State immediately on its return,

he is not in breach of the duty under subsection (3) above.

94Provision of information, etc. relating to disabilities

(1)If at any time during the period for which his licence remains in force, a licence holder becomes aware—

(a)that he is suffering from a relevant or prospective disability which he has not previously disclosed to the Secretary of State, or

(b)that a relevant or prospective disability from which he has at any time suffered (and which has been previously so disclosed) has become more acute since the licence was granted,

the licence holder must forthwith notify the Secretary of State in writing of the nature and extent of his disability.

(2)The licence holder is not required to notify the Secretary of State under subsection (1) above if—

(a)the disability is one from which he has not previously suffered, and

(b)he has reasonable grounds for believing that the duration of the disability will not extend beyond the period of three months beginning with the date on which he first becomes aware that he suffers from it.

(3)A person who fails without reasonable excuse to notify the Secretary of State as required by subsection (1) above is guilty of an offence.

(4)If the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds for believing that a person who is an applicant for, or the holder of, a licence may be suffering from a relevant or prospective disability, subsection (5) below applies for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of State to satisfy himself whether or not that is the case.

(5)The Secretary of State may by notice in writing served on the applicant or holder—

(a)require him to provide the Secretary of State, within such reasonable time as may be specified in the notice, with such an authorisation as is mentioned in subsection (6) below, or

(b)require him, as soon as practicable, to arrange to submit himself for examination—

(i)by such registered medical practitioner or practitioners as may be nominated by the Secretary of State, or

(ii)with respect to a disability of a prescribed description, by such officer of the Secretary of State as may be so nominated,

for the purpose of determining whether or not he suffers or has at any time suffered from a relevant or prospective disability, or

(c)except where the application is for, or the licence held is, a provisional licence, require him to submit himself for a test of competence to drive, being a test authorising the grant of a licence in respect of vehicles—

(i)of all or any of the classes to which the application relates, or

(ii)which he is authorised to drive (otherwise than by virtue of section 98(2) of this Act) by the licence which he holds,

as the case may be.

(6)The authorisation referred to in subsection (5)(a) above—

(a)shall be in such form and contain such particulars as may be specified in the notice by which it is required to be provided, and

(b)shall authorise any registered medical practitioner who may at any time have given medical advice or attention to the applicant or licence holder concerned to release to the Secretary of State any information which he may have, or which may be available to him, with respect to the question whether, and if so to what extent, the applicant or licence holder concerned may be suffering, or may at any time have suffered, from a relevant or prospective disability.

(7)If he considers it appropriate to do so in the case of any applicant or licence holder, the Secretary of State—

(a)may include in a single notice under subsection (5) above requirements under more than one paragraph of that subsection, and

(b)may at any time after the service of a notice under that subsection serve a further notice or notices under that subsection.

(8)If any person on whom a notice is served under subsection (5) above—

(a)fails without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement contained in the notice, or

(b)fails any test of competence which he is required to take as mentioned in paragraph (c) of that subsection,

the Secretary of State may exercise his powers under sections 92 and 93 of this Act as if he were satisfied that the applicant or licence holder concerned is suffering from a relevant disability which is not prescribed for the purposes of any paragraph of section 92(4) of this Act or, if the Secretary of State so determines, as if he were satisfied that the applicant or licence holder concerned is suffering from a prospective disability.

(9)The Secretary of State must defray any fees or other reasonable expenses of a registered medical practitioner in connection with—

(a)the provision of information in pursuance of an authorisation required to be provided under subsection (5)(a) above, or

(b)any examination which a person is required to undergo as mentioned in subsection (5)(b) above.

95Notification of refusal of insurance on grounds of health

(1)If an authorised insurer refuses to issue to any person such a policy of insurance as complies with the requirements of Part VI of this Act on the ground that the state of health of that person is not satisfactory, or on grounds which include that ground, the insurer shall as soon as practicable notify the Secretary of State of that refusal and of the full name, address, sex and date of birth of that person as disclosed by him to the insurer.

(2)In subsection (1) above “authorised insurer” means a person or body of persons carrying on insurance business within Group 2 in Part II of Schedule 2 to the [1982 c. 50.] Insurance Companies Act 1982 and being a member of the Motor Insurers' Bureau (a company limited by guarantee and incorporated under the [1929 c. 23.] Companies Act 1929 on 14th June 1946).

96Driving with uncorrected defective eyesight

(1)If a person drives a motor vehicle on a road while his eyesight is such (whether through a defect which cannot be or one which is not for the time being sufficiently corrected) that he cannot comply with any requirement as to eyesight prescribed under this Part of this Act for the purposes of tests of competence to drive, he is guilty of an offence.

(2)A constable having reason to suspect that a person driving a motor vehicle may be guilty of an offence under subsection (1) above may require him to submit to a test for the purpose of ascertaining whether, using no other means of correction than he used at the time of driving, he can comply with the requirement concerned.

(3)If that person refuses to submit to the test he is guilty of an offence.

Back to top

Options/Help

Print Options

You have chosen to open The Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open The Whole Act as a PDF

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download.

Would you like to continue?

You have chosen to open the Whole Act

The Whole Act you have selected contains over 200 provisions and might take some time to download. You may also experience some issues with your browser, such as an alert box that a script is taking a long time to run.

Would you like to continue?

Close

Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made):The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.

Close

Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once

Close

More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enactedversion that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources