QuestionsOnNotice

Questions on Notice No 6615
Answered
Assembly
59 Parliament First Session
Question
Asked: 12 May 2022

Question on Notice

Mr Bull (Gippsland East) to ask the Minister for Roads and Road Safety — My constituent, like many others over 60, is taking medication to control cholesterol and high blood pressure, as prescribed by his doctor. After recently obtaining his boat licence, my constituent was required to report to VicRoads the medication he takes, which has initiated a fitness to drive medical assessment. He is now required to undertake a full medical within a specified timeframe, something that is difficult to meet given the regional and rural doctor shortages. 

(1) If my constituent’s doctor raises no concerns about his driving capabilities due to the medication prescribed by them, why does VicRoads require an additional detailed report. 

(2) Will VicRoads review this impost on regional GPs to duplicate medical advice and paperwork on patients they clearly deem fit to drive.

(3) Will VicRoads remove the tight timeframes country drivers are required to complete this medical paperwork given the rural doctor shortage.

Answer
Answered: 1 June 2022
Question on Notice

While many factors contribute to safety on the road, driver health and fitness to drive are important considerations in ensuring an individual’s health status does not have an unduly adverse impact on their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.

 

Under the Road Safety Act 1986, VicRoads has an obligation to ensure that all licence holders meet the national standards for licensing and are medically fit to drive. The VicRoads Medical Review Team manage Victorian driver fitness to drive assessments, in line with the National Transport Commission’s medical standards for licensing, the Assessing Fitness to Drive Guidelines 2016.

 

(1) If my constituent’s doctor raises no concerns about his driving capabilities due to the medication prescribed by them, why does VicRoads require an additional detailed report. 

 

When VicRoads receives information that raises concerns that a driver’s health may affect their fitness to drive, VicRoads is obliged to request a relevant medical report from their general practitioner to assess the driver’s fitness to drive in relation to any underlying medical condition/s and driving tasks.

 

VicRoads receives information from various sources, including driver self-reporting (such as licence applications or renewal form self-declarations), Victoria Police, health professionals, family, friends, and members of the public (i.e. the self or community-based reporting model).

 

If the drivers medical report shows no medical condition/s impacting their fitness to drive, the driver’s review file will be closed. If the medical report shows the driver has a medical condition/s and meets the national medical licensing standards, they will be able to keep driving, but may be reviewed periodically to assess their ongoing fitness to drive.

 

If the review shows the driver does not meet the national medical licensing standards, unfortunately, for their safety and the safety of all road users, they won’t be able to continue driving. 

 

(2) Will VicRoads review this impost on regional GPs to duplicate medical advice and paperwork on patients they clearly deem fit to drive.

 

Assessing a driver’s fitness to drive is a responsibility that VicRoads takes extremely seriously, with each fitness to drive assessment conducted individually on a case by cases basis, considering the individuals’ circumstances and aligned to the national medical standards for licensing.

 

VicRoads recognises the costs and time involved in customers providing medical reports and will only request reports when necessary to complete the driver’s fitness to drive assessment, in line with the Road Safety Act and national medical standards for licensing.

(3) Will VicRoads remove the tight timeframes country drivers are required to complete this medical paperwork given the rural doctor shortage.

 

In the majority of cases, VicRoads will only require a medical report from the drivers general practitioner and provides a timeframe of two months. If a driver has difficulty meeting this timeframe, VicRoads will work with the affected driver to minimise the impact on their individual case, including extensions of time to provide the reports on a case-by-case basis.

 

For drivers that receive periodical requests for medical reports, VicRoads can also arrange for these periodical requests to coincide with the driver’s regular or scheduled appointments with treating health practitioner/s.

 

I encourage any driver having difficulties to contact VicRoads to discuss their individual circumstances.

 

 

 

 

The Hon Ben Carroll MP

Minister for Public Transport

Minister for Roads and Road Safety

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