Assessing Fitness to Drive

Table of Contents

Appendix 3.2 Legislation relating to reporting by health professionals (as at December 2015)

State/Territory Applies toDiscretionary reportingMandatory reporting

Australian Capital Territory

Road Transport (General) Act 1999. s. 230 (3) (4)

Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999, s. 28

Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2000, s. 15, 15A, 69, 70 and 78

An individual carrying out a certain test or examination (i.e. medical practitioners, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists).

An individual.

An individual is not civilly or criminally liable for carrying out a test or examination in accordance with the regulation made under the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 and expressing to the road transport authority, in good faith, an opinion formed because of having carried out the test or examination.

An individual is not civilly or criminally liable for reporting to the road transport authority, in good faith, information that discloses or suggests that someone else is or may be unfit to drive or that it may be dangerous to allow someone else to hold, to be issued or to have renewed, a driver licence or a variation of a driver licence.

There is no mandatory reporting requirement for practitioners.

New South Wales

Road Transport Act 2013. s. 275 (3) & (4)

Road Transport Act 2013, Schedule 1

Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008, c. 50

An individual carrying out a certain test or examination (i.e. medical practitioners, optometrists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists).

An individual.

An individual does not incur civil or criminal liability for carrying out a test or examination in accordance with statutory rules made for the purposes of driver licensing and expressing to the authority in good faith an opinion formed as a result of having carried out the test or examination.

An individual does not incur civil or criminal liability for reporting to the authority, in good faith, information that discloses or suggests that another person is or may be unfit to drive or that it may be dangerous to allow another person to hold, to be issued or to have renewed, a driver licence or a variation of a driver licence.

There is no mandatory reporting requirement for practitioners.

Northern Territory

Motor Vehicles Act 1999, s. 11

A registered person means a medical practitioner, an optometrist, an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist who is registered under the applicable Acts.Not covered in legislation.

If a registered person reasonably believes that a person they have examined is licensed to drive a motor vehicle and is physically or mentally incapable or driving a motor vehicle with safety to the public or is physically or mentally unfit to be licensed, the registered person must notify the registrar in writing of the person’s name and address and the nature of the incapacity or unfitness.

No express indemnity is provided under s. 11.

Queensland

Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, s. 142

A person registered under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law to practise in the medical profession, other than as a student.

A health professional is not liable, civilly or under an administrative process, for giving information in good faith to the chief executive about a person’s medical fitness to hold, or to continue to hold, a Queensland driver licence.

Without limiting this, in a civil proceeding for defamation, a health professional has a defence of absolute privilege for publishing the information.

Additionally, if the health professional would otherwise be required to maintain confidentiality about the information under an Act, oath, rule of law or practice, the health professional does not contravene the Act, oath, rule of law or practice by disclosing the information and is not liable to disciplinary action for disclosing the information.

There is no mandatory reporting requirement for practitioners.

South Australia

Motor Vehicles Act 1959, s. 148

A legally qualified medical practitioner, a registered optician or a registered physiotherapist.Not covered in legislation.

Where a legally qualified medical practitioner, a registered optician or a registered physiotherapist has reasonable cause to believe that a person whom they have examined holds a driver licence or a learner permit and that person is suffering from a physical or mental illness, disability or deficiency such that, if the person drove a motor vehicle, they would be likely to endanger the public, then the medical practitioner, registered optician or registered physiotherapist is under a duty to inform the registrar in writing of the name and address of that person, and of the nature of the illness, disability or deficiency from which the person is believed to be suffering.

Where a medical practitioner, registered optician or registered physiotherapist furnishes such information to the registrar, they must notify the person to whom the information relates of that fact and of the nature of the information furnished.

No civil or criminal liability is incurred in carrying out the duty imposed.

Tasmania

Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, ss. 63 (2) and 56

Vehicle and Traffic Act 1999, s. 63 (1)

A person.

A person incurs no civil or criminal liability for reporting to the registrar, in good faith, the results of a test or examination carried out under the Act or an opinion formed as a result of conducting such a test or examination.

Section 56 deals with tests and examinations of drivers.

A person incurs no civil or criminal liability for reporting to the registrar, in good faith, that another person may be unfit to drive a motor vehicle.

There is no mandatory reporting requirement for practitioners.

Victoria

Road Safety Act 1986, s. 27 (4)

Road Safety (General) Regulations 2009, r. 68

A person carrying out a test under Section 27 (i.e. registered medical practitioners, optometrists, occupational therapists, and other people authorised in writing by VicRoads).

A person who expresses an opinion to VicRoads formed as a result of the test.

No action may be taken against a person who carries out a test to determine if a person is unfit to drive or if it is dangerous for that person to drive) and who expresses to VicRoads an opinion formed by that person as a result of the test.

No action may be taken against a person who, in good faith, reports to VicRoads any information that discloses or suggests that a person is unfit to drive or that it may be dangerous to allow that person to hold or to be granted a driver licence, a driver licence variation or a learner permit.

There is no mandatory reporting requirement for practitioners.

Western Australia

Road Traffic (Administration) Act 2008, s. 136

A person.

People expressing an opinion to the Director General formed as a result of carrying out a test or examination under the provisions of the Act are protected from liability when acting in good faith.

An action in tort does not lie against a person, and a person is not to be prosecuted for an offence, for reporting to the CEO, in good faith, information that discloses or suggests that:

  1. another person is or may be unfit to drive, or
  2. it may be dangerous to
    1. allow another person to hold a driver licence or learner’s permit, or
    2. grant a driver licence or learner’s permit to another person, or
    3. vary or not to vary, another person’s driver licence or learner permit.
There is no mandatory reporting requirement for practitioners.
* Where changes are anticipated, health professionals are advised to check with the driver licensing authority (refer to Appendix 9: Driver licensing authority contacts).