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Evidence-based policy for driving: easier said than done
  1. Tony Marson1,2
  1. 1 Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2 Neurology, The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Tony Marson, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L9 7LJ, UK; a.g.marson{at}

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Being able to drive is integral to many aspects of life in many parts of the world, and is regarded very much as a right rather than a privilege. It is therefore not surprising that conversations during consultations about limiting an individual’s eligibility to drive can be challenging and sometimes heated. In this edition of Practical Neurology, Rees et al discuss many of these issues from the perspective of the UK national licensing panel (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, DVLA).1

When creating and implementing policy, there are several substantial challenges.

The first of these is to strike the appropriate balance between protecting the rights of the driver on the one hand and those of other road users and pedestrians on the other.

The second is to take heterogeneity adequately into account. Drivers are not uniform automatons, but vary in many ways (eg, age, driving experience, time spent driving per day, risk-taking behaviours, etc), which influences the risk they pose to themselves or others. Similarly, people with medical conditions that might affect their ability to drive safely are also heterogeneous. This heterogeneity poses a major challenge to those creating policy, which must be fair, consistent …

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  • Twitter @tonymarson2

  • Contributors This article was written solely by TM.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Disclaimer The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.

  • Competing interests TM was a previous member of the DVLA Neurological Disorders panel and his research included the development of risk prediction models for seizure recurrence.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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  • Editors’ commentary
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