Updated driver medical standards from 1 October 20161 September 2016
Australians, their doctors and other health professionals will have better guidance on whether they are safe to drive thanks to updated medical guidelines contained the new edition of Assessing Fitness to Drive for commercial and private vehicle drivers.
Assessing Fitness to Drive is a joint publication of the National Transport Commission (NTC) and Austroads, and includes standards for private and commercial drivers of heavy vehicles, light vehicles and motor bikes.
Chief Executive of the NTC, Paul Retter said the new edition would give health professionals the best available information to help them discuss driving with their patients and assess their patients’ ability to drive safely.
“We have worked closely with health professionals, driver licensing authorities and consumer health groups to update the guidelines, which has resulted in some changes to the licensing criteria to account for developments in medical understanding and practice,” Mr Retter said.
“The updates also include clearer guidance for health professionals to support consistent assessment and decision making.
“This includes new features such as flow charts to guide assessment of conditions such as epilepsy and dementia, a questionnaire to assist assessment of drivers with diabetes and more detailed information about determining and supporting functional driver capacity.”
Nick Koukoulas, Chief Executive of Austroads, said doctors and other health professionals use Assessing Fitness to Drive to advise driver licensing authorities about how their patients’ health and medical conditions might affect their ability to drive.
The driver licensing authority considers this advice in their decision about an individual’s licence status.
“Importantly, the new edition also includes links to information resources to assist health professionals in having conversations with their patients about driving,” said Mr Koukoulas said.
“This includes a number of excellent resources developed by Alzheimer’s Australia.
“The new edition comes into effect on 1 October 2016, from which date all assessments conducted for the purpose of driver licensing should be undertaken according to the updated edition."
Austroads is responsible for publication and distribution of Assessing Fitness to Drive, and will host the electronic version on their website from today.
A summary of the changes in the new edition and other support materials are also available from the Austroads website.
Hard copies will not be distributed to individual health professionals, although they can be purchased via the Austroads website.
Drivers or health professionals with any enquiries about how the new standards may affect them should contact the relevant driver licensing authority in their state or territory.
Last Updated: 18/11/2016