COVID-19 Information for OT Driving Assessors

We are aware that returning to your role as an occupational therapy driving assessor during the uncertainty of COVID-19 is dependent on many different factors. As a result, each individual circumstance and case needs to be assessed on its own merit at the point of referral. The OTA National Driving Taskforce recommend you consider the following key principles document to guide your clinical reasoning. These principles are based on consensus agreement of occupational therapy driving assessors from NSW, QLD and VIC who attended the OT Driver Education meeting on the 22 May 2020 and have national application. If you have any additional queries or concerns please contact info@otaus.com.au 

OT Driver Assessments - Managing COVID 19 Key Principles
OT Driving Assessments - COVID-19 Practice Checklist

Disclaimer: The information provided in these guidelines is current at the date of first publication and is intended for use as a guide of a general nature only. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee can be given that the information is free from error or omission, nor are these guidelines exhaustive of the subject matter. Occupational Therapy Australia expects that occupational therapy driving assessors will abide by the information sources with the relevant licensing authority in their jurisdiction, directions provided by referrers and the relevant health authorities.  Occupational Therapy Australia cannot take responsibility for any misuse or misapplication of these guidelines that may result in any loss or damage (consequential or otherwise) cost or expense incurred or arising by reason of any person using or relying on the information contained in these guidelines and whether caused by reason of any error, negligent act omission or misrepresentation in the guide.

Occupational Therapy Australia has received the following information from local transport authorities. We will continue to update this information as we receive replies from each state and territory. 

ACT Driver Licence Information

Current as at 27 November 2020

All low risk cases will have been sent a letter advising of the extension timeframes. Drivers with a medical condition considered high risk will need to provide evidence of their fitness to drive within the usual six-week timeframe.

The RUS Medical team will advise ACT drivers in writing if they may continue to drive or will suspend their right to drive until a clinical or practical OT assessment can be safely conducted after the COVID-19 pandemic passes. Click here for more information.


Service NSW

Current as at 27 November 2020.

In response to the latest health advice and risks associated with COVID-19, the following changes have been made:

  • Driver testing reopened across the state on 1 July 2020. Bookings can be made online, via phone or in person.
    Prior to sitting the driving test, applicants will have their temperature taken using an infrared hand-held thermometer.
    • Note: Service NSW is experiencing a high demand for this service and hired an additional 50 driver testers across the state to increase the number of tests available to customers. Due to the high volume of requests, tests may book out quicker than usual, we are continuing to monitor the service and are releasing new bookings regularly.
  • Computer-based knowledge test (DKT, HPT) applicants are required to wear masks when undertaking their test at the testing terminal.

If you'd like more detailed information, visit Driver testing and COVID-19.

 


QLD Department of Transport and Main Roads

Current as at 18 November 2020

As of Monday 13 July 2020 practical driving test bookings reopened to all Queenslanders. As health and safety remains the priority, several measures are in place including:

  • mandatory screening for test participants
  • vehicle cleaning requirements
  • reinforcement of general health and hygiene measures.

Further information including health and safety requirements for driving tests is available on the Department's website here. All practical driving tests were suspended from 28 March, to limit the spread of COVID-19 and comply with social distancing recommendations from Queensland Health.


Service SA

The following advice has been provided for South Australian occupational therapists as of 1:00pm, 17 November 2020:

  • Driving assessments should be postponed where possible with those that do occur to be based on wearing masks, 1.5 m spacing at all times, fresh air circulation (not recycled air-conditioners) and high-level infection control procedures as outlined above.

TRANSPORT TASMANIA

DRIVING ASSESSMENT BOOKINGS SUSPENDED

The Department is committed to ensuring the safety of clients and staff during the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). At this stage, future bookings either online or at Service Tasmania have been suspended. We will continue to monitor advice from the relevant authorities about this evolving global situation and will immediately open bookings when appropriate to do so.

All current bookings have been cancelled (with no exceptions). Refunds are available upon request – Please email driver.assessment@stategrowth.tas.gov.au, otherwise payment can be used for next booking. When driving assessment services recommence, priority booking will be given to clients who had already booked. The Department will contact affected clients.

Online Driving Assessments
Currently unavailable pending further advice.

Authorised Driving Assessors
Clients should contact external service providers regarding services currently available for L2 and P1 assessments.


VIC ROADS

Current as at 29 October 2020

The Victorian Government has announced all licence testing will resume in metropolitan Melbourne when the city moves to the Third Step of the roadmap for reopening. Sunday’s announcement indicated metropolitan Melbourne would move to the Third Step for reopening on Monday 2 November, however this is still to be confirmed.

Please refer to the coronavirus information page on the VicRoads website for more information about the resumption of licence testing.

We will keep our stakeholders and industry partners updated as soon as we have confirmation for the timing for the introduction of the Third Step in metropolitan Melbourne.

Medical Review
VicRoads will re-commence medical review driving assessments and Occupational Therapy driving assessment requests across the state from Monday 2 November 2020. VicRoads will directly contact all medical review customers to re-book appointments or re-issue requests.

Safe Operating Procedures
Whilst requirements regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are regularly reviewed in line with DHHS guidelines, at present there are no plans for changes to VicRoads’ Safe Operating Procedures (SOP) whilst conducting either drive tests or Medical Review Driving Tests.

If VicRoads changes the SOP requirements for these services, we will undertake to advise occupational therapy driving assessors.


Department of Transport (DoT)

Current as at 18 November 2020

There are currently no restrictions on learning to drive

Practical Driving Assessments (PDAs)
PDAs recommenced in May and online bookings can be made through DoTDirect. They have recently opened a temporary centre in Welshpool, dedicated to conducting PDAs to help clear the backlog of assessments in the Perth metro. This centre will offer an additional 1,300 driving tests a week.

  • Open 7 days a week, 7am – 6pm
  • Hazard Perception Tests from 7am – 5pm
  • Practical Driving Assessment transactions only
  • Cashless site

To keep up to date visit the WA Department of Transport website.

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