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DVLA and Autistic Spectrum Disorder policy change: How-2-Drive’s response

Drivers with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a condition which affects people in different ways, were left angry and confused this week after DVLA changed the wording of a policy on its website.

It stated that anyone with ASD had to declare their condition to DVLA or risk a £1,000 fine and prosecution if they were involved in an accident.

After an outpouring of protest from organisations and charities who work with people with ASD, who said no consultation on the change had taken place, as well as MPs and human rights campaigners, DVLA apologised and again changed the wording of the policy.

The start of DVLA’s policy now reads, “You must tell DVLA if your autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) affects your ability to drive safely.” 

At How-2-Drive, we work hard to ensure we can help as many people as we can to pass their test and enjoy a life of safe driving.

Our founder, Howard Floyd, said:

“It must have been a very worrying few days for drivers with ASD to face such uncertainty around changing messages. It is particularly frustrating to see that it appears to have been done without any proper consultation.

“Anyone with ASD who is driving has clearly demonstrated that they can drive safely when they passed their test. To imply the test is not enough to confirm this could call into question anyone’s ability to drive safely once they have passed.”

How-2-Drive’s instructors have experience of teaching people with ASD and if they can satisfy an examiner that they meet the standard required, there is no reason to treat them differently to other drivers.

Howard said:

“People with ASD can find it easier or harder than average to learn to drive, depending on the individual, which is of course true of everyone, and we always tailor lessons to people’s learning styles.

“Someone with autism might take longer to learn a skill but then you might never have to show them again, whereas someone without autism might grasp it quicker but then need reminding again. Just because someone’s lessons or learning style are a little different, it doesn’t mean there are differences come test day.

“When we get phone calls from young people with ASD or their parents, looking to find out if driving lessons are possible or suitable, we do everything we can to accommodate their needs and help make learning to drive a stress-free experience.”

We always welcome enquiries from anyone who wants to know more about how we can tailor our lessons to support people’s individual needs, just get in touch.