30 Sep Do you have a medical condition that may affect your driving?
In 2004 a driver suffering an epileptic seizure crashed into another car and 22 month old Jet was killed. As a consequence this prompted the introduction of medical condition reporting legislation named Jet’s Law, whereby if you hold a QLD driver licence you are required to notify the Department of Transport and Main Roads of any long-term or permanent medical condition that may affect your driving ability. If you have any of the following medical conditions you should talk to your doctor regarding your duties as a driver licence holder;
- Alcohol or drug dependency
- Blackouts or fainting
- Eye problems – e.g. cataracts
- Hearing problems
- Heart disease – e.g. ventricular assist devices
- Psychiatric disorders
- Sleep disorders – e.g. obstructive sleep apnoea
For people that have been diagnosed with a sleeping disorder such as obstructive sleep apnoea, a conditional licence, for either private or commercial purposes, needs to be considered by the driver licencing authority subject to periodic review and information provided by the treating doctor. However, this depends on the following two criteria: compliance with treatment and the response to treatment is satisfactory. Particularly commercial vehicle drivers diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea and require treatment, are required to have an annual review by a sleep specialist to ensure that adequate treatment is maintained. Failure to report your medical condition can result in a penalty of more than a $6000 fine and or disqualification from driving. Online forms are available at www.tmr.qld.gov.au/medicalconditions to report the medical condition or download the Medical Certificate for Motor Vehicle Driver form.
Effective from October 1 2016 there have been no fundamental changes to driving and sleep disorders. For some of the aforementioned medical conditions there have been some important changes made to the information presented in the 2016 Austroads guidelines for driving safety. The Assessing Fitness to Drive medical standards and guidelines are produced by the National Transport Commission and Austroads, with the aim to increase road safety by helping health professionals assess the fitness of their patients to drive, promote responsible behaviour of their patients with respect to their health and driving, conduct medical examinations for licensing of drivers as licensing author requirements and provide information to inform conditional licence decisions. Please take the time to view the link to the Austroads 2016 Driving and Your Health information fact sheet http://www.austroads.com.au/images/assessing-fitness/AFTD2016_Patient_Factsheet.pdf.