Prof. Dr. Hartmut Marwitz, former Head of Development at Mercedes Benz Trucks

A healthy driver is a safer driver.

The reverse statement may not be absolutely true, but being ill behind the steering wheel, possibly after having tried to fight the illness through self-medication, is without doubt a risk to oneself and to others that has largely been underestimated up to now. When considered purely in terms of statistics, it must be concluded that the 472,000 drivers active in Germany – with certainty a good representative average of the employable population – will fall ill in the same way. Only a professional driver will not go straight to the doctor with a complaint, because on the one hand he is under deadline pressure and on the other he could not expect to receive medical care on the motorway until now. That is to change.

With the DocStop initiative a vision becomes reality, because it enables the driver to get medical advice or care at motorway services and truck stops and thus represents a blessing, not only for the driver concerned, but also for all road users. It is important here that, through the broad support of the public, the decision is made easier for those concerned – both the patient and the doctor – when a diagnosis indicates that continuing to drive is not advisable. It is pleasing that the initiative is so well received by doctors, motorway services and drivers. In a globally networked logistics world, however, this task cannot remain limited to Germany. Expansion to cover Europe as a whole is the goal.

In this context I wish the initiators, Rainer Bernickel and the MEP Dr. Dieter-L. Koch, every success along this ambitious route.