Assessing Fitness to Drive

Table of Contents

Appendix 3.1 Legislation relating to reporting by drivers (as at December 2015)

State/Territory LegislationDiscretionary reporting
Australian Capital TerritoryRoad Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2000, s. 77 (2), (3)

If a person who is the holder of a driver licence suffers any permanent or long-term illness, injury or incapacity that may impair his or her ability to drive safely, the person must tell the road transport authority as soon as practicable (but within seven days). Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.

It is a defence to the prosecution of a person for an offence against this section if the person establishes:

  1. that the person was unaware that his or her ability to drive safely had been impaired, or
  2. that the person had another reasonable excuse for contravening the sub-section.
New South WalesRoad Transport (Driver Licensing Regulation 2008, c. 117 (5) The holder of a driver licence must, as soon as practicable, notify the road transport authority of any permanent or long-term injury or illness that may impair his or her ability to drive safely.
Northern TerritoryMotor Vehicles Act 1959 11(3) If a person who is licensed to drive a motor vehicle is suffering from a physical or mental incapacity that may affect his or her ability to drive a motor vehicle with safety to the public, the person or his or her personal representative, they must notify the registrar of the nature of the incapacity in terms of unfitness.
QueenslandTransport Operations (Road Use Management – Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010, 50, 51

A person is not eligible for the grant or renewal of a Queensland driver licence if the chief executive reasonably believes the person has a mental or physical incapacity that is likely to adversely affect the person’s ability to drive safely.

However, the person is eligible for the grant or renewal of a Queensland driver licence if the chief executive reasonably believes that, by stating conditions on the licence, the person’s incapacity is not likely to adversely affect the person’s ability to drive safely.

Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Regulation 2005, 40A

The holder of a Queensland driver licence must give notice to the chief executive if they develop any permanent or long-term mental or physical incapacity, or there is any permanent or long-term increase in, or other aggravation of, a mental or physical incapacity that is likely to affect the holder’s ability to drive safely.

More specifically, there is a standard for drivers of public passenger vehicles:

An authorised driver must:

  1. notify the chief executive if there is a change in the driver’s medical condition that makes the driver continuously unfit to safely operate a motor vehicle for more than one month
  2. within five years after the issue of the last medical certificate given to the chief executive, give the chief executive a fresh medical certificate.
South AustraliaMotor Vehicles Act 1959, 98AAF The holder of a licence or learner’s permit who, during the term of the licence or permit, suffers any illness or injury that may impair his or her competence to drive a motor vehicle without danger to the public must, within a reasonable time after the occurrence of the illness or injury, notify the registrar in writing of that fact. Maximum penalty: $750
Tasmania

Vehicle and Traffic (Driver Licensing and Vehicle Registration) Regulations 2010, 36(6), (7)

The holder of a driver licence must, as soon as practicable, notify the registrar of:
  1. any permanent or long-term injury or illness that may impair his or her ability to drive safely, or
  2. any deterioration of physical or mental condition (including a deterioration of eyesight) that may impair his or her ability to drive safely, or
  3. any other factor related to physical or mental health that may impair his or her ability to drive safely.

Penalty: Fine not exceeding 10 penalty units.

Unless the registrar requires written notification, the notification need not be in writing.

Victoria

Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 2009, reg. 67(2)

The holder of a driver licence or permit or any person exempted from holding a driver licence or permit under section 18(1)(a) of the Act must, as soon as practicable, notify VicRoads and any other relevant agency of any permanent or long-term injury or illness that may impair his or her ability to drive safely.
Western Australia

Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2014, s. 64

Duty to reveal things that might impair ability:

  1. In this regulation –
    driving impairment of the person means any permanent or long-term mental or physical condition (which may include a dependence on drugs or alcohol) that is likely to, or treatment for which is likely to, impair the person’s ability to control a motor vehicle either –
    1. in all circumstances; or
    2. except under certain conditions or subject to certain limitations; or
    3. unless measures are taken to overcome the impairment.
  2. A person applying for the grant of a learner’s permit or a driver licence, other than by way of renewal must, when applying, inform the CEO of any driving impairment of the person.

    Penalty: 10 PU.
    Modified penalty: 1 PU.
  3. If a person who holds a learner’s permit or a driver licence becomes affected by any driving impairment of the person of which the person has not already informed the CEO, the person must, as soon as practicable, to inform the CEO in writing of the impairment.

    Penalty: 10 PU
    Modified penalty: 1 PU
  4. If a person who has informed the CEO of a driving impairment of the person becomes affected by an increase in the extent of the impairment to a degree that is substantially different from that of which the CEO was most recently informed the person must, as soon as practicable, inform the CEO in writing of the development.

    Penalty: 10 PU
    Modified penalty: 1 PU
  5. If a person who has informed the CEO of a driving impairment of the person later informs the CEO that the person has ceased to be affected by the impairment but subsequently becomes again affected by it the person must, as soon as practicable inform the CEO in writing of the development.

    Penalty: 10 PU.
    Modified penalty: 1 PU.