Individuals partaking in a medical driving assessment could view the exercise as something of an inconvenience.
When injury, illness or a significant medical issue strikes, Roads and Maritime are in a position to conduct a review of the driver’s condition to see whether or not they are worthy of being on open public roads.
Here we will outline why a drive medical assessment matter.
Improving Road Safety
It is a principle that has remained true from the day that cars began driving on local roads – safe drivers make for safe roads. This is the first and fundamental benefit for participants who engage in a medical driving assessment. 2018 alone saw 1146 deaths across roads all across Australia. While that figure is lower than in 2017, that is still 1146 citizens who died due to a myriad of factors that were in part due to driver negligence or oversight in some instances. The capacity to read road signs, adhere to speed limits, judge the proximity of traffic and follow the right signals are skills that are hampered for participants who are struggling with an ailment, and it is everyone’s right to know that these drivers are being expertly assessed.
Covering Two Key Demographics
A medical driving assessment is broken down into two distinct categories: a fitness to drive medical and a dangerous goods driver medical. The first of these assessments is designed to focus on general citizens who are tested for their motor functions, driver’s sensory capacity and cognitive abilities. Such an exercise is carried out on a regular basis for those who operate taxi, bus and Uber services respectively, ensuring they are fit to carry passengers. The latter assessment is designed for those operates who oversee vehicles that are 500kg in weight or more, sometimes carrying dangerous goods.
Catering to Age-Based Conditions
It is an inescapable fact that the older constituents get, the higher the chance that they will encounter health issues that hamper their ability to drive on the road. A medical driving assessment is therefore broken down into categories depending on the age profile of the participant:
- Age 21 – once every 10 years
- Age 40 – once every 5 years
- Age 60 – once every 2 years
- Age 70 – annually
Once constituents reach the 60-70 age bracket, basic functions like eyesight commonly begin to diminish in quality and this is where the age-based medical conditions come into play.
Working With Medical Experts & Driving Authorities
A medical driving assessment is an exercise that is not carried out in isolation from doctors and medical experts. A local GP or therapist who has carefully studied their patient and has provided official medical reports will help to inform Roads and Maritime about their fitness to be on the road. This will not override the need to carry out the assessments, but help to provide extra context to decisions that are handed down.
Unfit Drivers Are Kept Off The Roads
While many participants will pass their medical driving assessment with flying colours, there will be others who are simply not fit to be driving on public roads. This is where they have to be removed from these conditions as a suspension and review is carried out by the right authorities. It is an unfortunate fact for many who rely on their license to have their transport independence, but if they cannot meet key thresholds from Roads and Maritime, they are placing other people’s safety at risk.
Having discussed the value of the medical driving assessment, it is clear that the exercise carries significant value for the individual and all other drivers on the open road. If there are any concerns about how the assessment is carried out or issues that have to be identified by the doctor, it is worthwhile engaging both parties to get clarity on this subject.