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The standards apply to private and commercial drivers of heavy vehicles, light vehicles and motorbikes.
Its primary purpose is to increase road safety in Australia by assisting health professionals to:
- assess the fitness of their patients to drive
- promote responsible behaviour in their patients
- conduct medical examinations for licensing drivers as required by licensing authorities
- provide information to inform conditional license decisions.
The medical standards contained in Assessing Fitness to Drive are reviewed every three years to ensure they remain up to date and meet current needs.
The new 2016 edition of Assessing Fitness to Drive was approved by transport ministers in June 2016 and came into effect on 1 October 2016.
The NTC has 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, and 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.
Austroads is responsible for publication and distribution of Assessing Fitness to Drive, and hosts the electronic version on their website. A summary of the changes in the new edition and other support materials are also available on 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.