Assessing Fitness to Drive

Table of Contents

3.2 Roles and responsibilities of drivers

In all states and territories, legislation requires a driver to advise their driver licensing authority of any long-term or permanent injury or illness that may affect their safe driving ability.

At licence application and renewal, drivers can be asked to complete a declaration regarding their health, including whether they have any long-term conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy or cardiovascular disease. Based on this information, the driver licensing authority may request a medical examination to confirm a driver’s fitness to hold a driver licence. In the case of medical examinations requested by the driver licensing authority, drivers have a duty to declare their health status to the examining health professional.

Drivers are also required to report to the driver licensing authority when they become aware of a health condition that may affect their ability to drive safely. There is some variability in these laws between the states and territories, thus drivers and health professionals should be aware of the specific reporting requirements in their jurisdiction and should contact their driver licensing authority for details of local requirements. These laws may impose penalties for failure to report (refer to Appendix 3: Legislation relating to reporting).

Drivers may be liable at common law if they continue to drive knowing that they have a condition that is likely to adversely affect safe driving. Drivers should be aware that there may be long-term financial, insurance and legal consequences where there is failure to report an impairment to their driver licensing authority.