All States and Territories in Australia have laws about reporting health conditions that might affect your ability to drive safely. These laws have been created to protect public safety and are summarised in Appendix 3 of Assessing Fitness to Drive.
The laws require you to report to your Driver Licensing Authority any permanent or long-term illness that is likely to affect your ability to drive safely. This must be done at the time the condition occurs, not just when renewing your licence.
Your doctor is able to advise you on whether or not you should be reporting a condition to the Driver Licensing Authority.
Driving a motor vehicle is a complex task requiring perception, good judgement, responsiveness and reasonable physical capability.
A range of medical conditions, as well as treatments, can impair your driving ability. Common examples include:
- Sleep disorders
- Vision problems
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Psychiatric disorders
- Heart disease
Just because you have a disease or condition that might affect your driving, doesn't mean that you won't be able to drive at all. In many cases the licensing authority is able to issue a conditional licence.
This means that you may continue to drive as long as certain conditions or restrictions are met. Conditions may include driving during daylight hours, the wearing of corrective lenses when driving or attending your doctor for a periodic review and providing a report to the Driver Licensing Authority. Your doctor may make recommendations to the Driver Licensing Authority about a conditional licence but the authority will make the final decision.
If you are issued with a conditional licence it is your responsibility to comply with any driving restrictions or other conditions and to be reviewed by your doctor as required.
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