New driving laws must be adopted

Portugal has been asked by the European Commission to adopt national legislation updating the requirements for physical and mental fitness to drive in response to scientific developments in treating certain conditions including epilepsy.

On April 6, a request was made to Portugal, Italy, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Poland and Slovenia for the countries to comply with their obligations to update legislation.

A statement from the European Commission said: “If these member states fail to inform the commission within two months of what measures they have taken to ensure full compliance with the law, the Commission could refer the case to the EU Court of Justice.”

All the countries in question have failed to notify changes to directives, although they had been required officially to do so by September 15, 2010.

The changes to the legislation relate to amendments to the existing minimum requirements on eyesight, diabetes

and epilepsy. “The amendments represent an advantage to people with less than perfect eyesight, diabetes or epilepsy because they adapt previous fitness requirements to scientific progress made in the treatment of these impairments and offer those affected extended opportunities to drive a vehicle while fully safeguarding road safety.”