Yesterday, I received a letter from DVLA (that’s the UK authority in charge of licensing road vehicles and drivers) telling me that I am still allowed to drive, but that my license must be replaced with a short term one. The decision can then be reviewed every three years.
When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, I was obliged to inform DVLA of my condition. They then investigated my capability to drive; they did this by sending me a questionnaire and by contacting my consultant.
I find myself resigned to this state of affairs. Obviously, I must take care that I am safe to drive, but it still feels like an erosion of my independence. Living in a village where the public transport is relatively infrequent and expensive, I don’t like the idea of not being able to drive. The issue is complicated by the presence of children – if I cannot drive, then it isn’t just me who is ‘stuck’ here. Still, it probably won’t come to that for a long time. Maybe they will be able to ferry me around one day… it’s only 11 years until the eldest is 17.
In the meantime, I predict that the next car I buy will be an automatic, not least because it’s my left hand side that is most affected (and probably always will be) – and that, in the UK, is the hand I change gear with.