COVID-19 Information for OT Driving Assessors
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.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
All low risk cases will be extended for 6 months. Medium risk cases extended for 90 days and high risk cases will still require medical assessments be submitted to Access Canberra. These drivers cases will be triaged by the RUS Medical Team and maybe referred for clinical assessment if complex in nature.
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.
Driver testing postponed
In response to the latest health advice and risks associated with COVID-19, Service NSW has postponed driver testing across NSW for a minimum period of 2 months. This change comes into effect immediately.
This applies to all practical driver assessments conducted by Service NSW.
It does not apply to assessments conducted via the Heavy Vehicle Competency Based Assessment Program or any other assessment provider outside of Service NSW.
If you believe you have an urgent need for your driving test to be conducted you can apply for a priority request. More information on priority testing, aged driving tests and overseas licence holders can be found here.
Update 3 June, 2020: The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads have announced that from 15 June 2020, Queensland driver tests will be recommencing for priority bookings. To ensure tests are conducted safely, there will be some new measures in place including a pre-screening health checklist, cleaning and disinfectant procedures. Further information including health and safety requirements for driving tests is available on the Department's website here.
The current advice from TMR is:
- All practical driving tests are cancelled for three months from Saturday 28 March 2020
- TMR advise individual organisations to undertake their own risk assessments on the feasibility of delivering services (i.e the decision lies with each organisation, TMR can not mandate private driving instructors to stop but it is recommended)
- Medical Conditions Reporting unit advises that they are working through processes towards being able to grant an extension on driver's licence expiry dates for under 75s (dependent on licence endorsements), however for over 75’s this will require a legislation change, which they are also working toward – nothing is approved as yet.
Can Motor Driving Instructors continue to work with occupational therapists in car to assist the client achieve driving goals?
If you are a Motor Driving Instructor and the driver training is conducted for fee or reward inside a vehicle and is in any way linked to the issue, retention or lifting of a suspension of a driver’s licence or is in any other way associated with the driver licensing function of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles you are operating as a Motor Driving Instructor and the direction prohibits this activity. In addition as pointed out above Temporary Permits often have a requirement to have a Motor Driving Instructor present, and under the emergency direction this is now prohibited.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
Where customers are required to undertake an occupational therapy driving assessment, we may defer their assessment for a minimum period of 3 months and provide them with a 'conditional licence' with restrictions, while waiting for their on-road assessment. This will be based on a case-by-case assessment of their road safety risk profile.
Examples of conditional licence restrictions include:
- a driving radius from home
- no freeway driving
- no night driving
If you have completed an off-road assessment but cannot complete an on-road assessment at the current time, please submit your off-road assessment results to Medical Review as this will support our risk assessment process.
We encourage you to keep referring to the Coronavirus hub on the DHHS website for the latest public health information and advice.
The Department of Transport (DoT) is continuing to conduct Practical Driving Assessments (PDA) and will prioritise appointments for those who require a licence for freight tasks, medical reasons and work purposes.
DoT will prioritise any available PDA bookings to customers who require a driver’s licence for the following reasons:
- Essential services.
- Medical reasons.
If any of your customers have an upcoming PDA booking and do not require a driver’s licence for one of the above reasons, we request that they consider postponing their PDA. Once the current health crisis is resolved, candidates who have cancelled bookings will be prioritised for PDA appointments.
Motorcycle and heavy vehicle PDA assessments are not impacted. Thank you for your patience and for working with us during the current situation.
The DoT Customer Contact Centre can be contacted for any queries regarding the above instructions on 13 11 56.