Medical assessment no longer needed for senior drivers


Drivers older than 75 in WA will no longer need to undergo a medical assessment to renew their licence

September 26, 2011

WA drivers aged 75 and 78 will no longer be required to undergo a medical assessment to renew their licence, following recognition that the current requirement is not justified by road safety approach.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell has approved an amendment of the Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations 2008 following a review that shows a high proportion of 75 and 78-year-olds were found fit to drive without medical conditions being endorsed on their licenses.

"Given the ageing population, the State Government is changing the regulations to lessen the unjustified imposition on senior drivers as well as the health system," Buswell says.

"Research by the government in 2006 indicated that older drivers were not disproportionately represented in crash statistics.

"Mandatory reporting of long-term or permanent medical conditions or driving impairments for all licence holders was introduced in 2008 and has been effective in identifying potentially high-risk drivers of all ages.

"The requirement to medically assess 75 and 78-year-olds has been in place since 1975 and it’s important we continue to monitor current evidence around this issue, rather than maintain outdated regulations that are potentially based on misconceptions or stereotypes."

The current regulations require licence holders aged 75, 78, 80 and annually thereafter to complete a driver’s licence renewal declaration and undergo a medical assessment. Those aged 85 and older must also pass an annual seniors’ on-road practical driving assessment.

Once the regulations are amended, licence holders aged 70 and 84 years will still be required to undertake a medical assessment, and requirements for those aged 85 and above will not change.

There are currently 13,817 drivers aged 75 years in WA, and 12,655 aged 78 years.

Bookmark and Share



You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook