For health professionals

Health Professionals' Responsibilites

Part A of Assessing Fitness to Drive outlines the responsibilities of drivers, examining health professionals and licensing authorities in relation to licensing (refer Section 3, Roles and responsibilities).

All States and Territories in Australia have laws about reporting health conditions that might affect a person's ability to drive safely.  These laws have been created to protect public safety and are summarised in Appendix 3 of Assessing Fitness to Drive.

The laws require drivers to report to the Driver Licensing Authority any permanent or long-term illness that is likely to affect their ability to drive safely.

As the relationship between patient and health professional is a confidential one, the health professional will not normally communicate directly with the Driver Licensing Authority.  He or she will provide the patient with advice about their ability to drive safely as well as a letter or report to take to the authority.  (Note that in South Australia and the Northern Territory, legislation currently requires the health professional to report directly to the licensing authority if they are concerned about the impact of the patient's health on their ability to drive safely).

Health professionals also have an obligation to public safety, so if a health professional believes that a patient is not following advice to cease driving, he or she may report directly to the Driver Licensing Authority.

If you have questions regarding your legal and ethical responsibilities as a health professional, you may wish to contact your local medical defence organisation or seek legal advice.

The figure below shows the relationships and interactions between patients/drivers, health professionals and the driver licensing authority.

AFTD2016 Figure2

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Assessing Fitness to Drive Downloads

Cover of Assessing Fitness to Drive 2016 (as amended up to August 2017)
Assessing Fitness to Drive, a joint publication of Austroads and the National Transport Commission (NTC), details the medical standards for driver licensing for use by health professionals and driver licensing authorities.
Cover of Summary of changes to the 2016 edition
This report explains the changes made to the 2016 edition of Assessing Fitness to Drive. It is a summary of the report Review of Transport Medical Standards: Final Report for the Review of Assessing Fitness to Drive published in July 2016.
Cover of 2016 Assessing Fitness to Drive Information Kit
This kit contains: A general media release, frequently asked questions, a summary of the key changes resulting from the review, Driver Licensing Authority contacts.