Medical checks no longer required for older drivers

Changes to licence conditions to take effect, ending need for WA drivers aged 75 and 78 to undergo medical checks

April 17, 2012

Changes to licence conditions in Western Australia will take effect this month, ending the need for some older drivers to undergo medical checks to stay on the road.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell says changes to the Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Regulations means those aged 75 and 78 will no longer need medical checks to renew their licence. Requirements for drivers aged 80 years and over remain unchanged.

Buswell says the change was made after research revealed older drivers were not over-represented in crash statistics. He announced in September last year the changes were on the way, and adds that they will take effect this month.

"Research by the Office of Road Safety indicates that older drivers are not disproportionately represented in crash statistics," he says.

Buswell says the requirement for 75 and 78-year-old drivers to have a medical test had been in place since 1975 and it was important to continually monitor current evidence.

"We don’t want to retain outdated regulations that are potentially based on misconceptions or stereotypes," he says.

"Mandatory reporting of medical conditions or driving impairments for all licence holders was introduced in 2008 and this has proven the best method to identify drivers of all ages that are potentially high-risk."

Buswell says licence holders aged 80 to 84 years would still need to undertake a medical test and those aged 85 years and older would still need to pass an annual seniors’ on-road practical driving assessment.

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