Assessing Fitness to Drive

Table of Contents

4.4.6 What about conditional licences for commercial vehicle drivers?

In the case of commercial vehicle drivers, the opinion of a medical specialist is generally required for consideration of a conditional licence – the main exceptions to this are set out in the next paragraph and in section 4.4.7 What if there is a delay before a specialist can be seen? This requirement reflects the higher safety risk for commercial vehicle drivers and the consequent importance of expert opinion.

In areas where access to specialists may be difficult, the driver licensing authority may agree to a process in which:

  • initial assessment and advice for the conditional licence is provided by a specialist
  • ongoing periodic review for the conditional licence is provided by the treating general practitioner, with the
  • cooperation of the specialist.

Where appropriate and available, the use of telemedicine technologies such as videoconferencing is encouraged as a means of facilitating access to specialist opinion (refer to section 3.3.5 Role of the specialist).

In addition to the examples in Table 4, the driver licensing authority may consider issuing a conditional commercial vehicle licence, for instance, in certain circumstances or situations where crash risk exposure is reduced. Examples of such circumstances or situations may include:

  • off-road driving of commercial vehicles where licences are still required
  • where driving is not the primary occupation, for example, mechanics who need to test drive the vehicle, primary producers who need to get product to market and only need to drive a couple of times a year and drivers who need to move buses not carrying public passengers within a bus depot or from a nearby workshop.