Requirements for elderly drivers change amid COVID-19
SENIOR Queenslanders are again being urged to stay at home with the Queensland government changing its medical certificate requirements for drivers 75 and over.
As part of wider efforts in response to COVID-19, senior Queensland drivers will not be required to visit their doctor or optometrist to obtain a medical certificate to meet senior driver licensing requirements, reducing the risk of exposure to the coronavirus and the need to go outside.
Strong advice from Australian and Queensland government health authorities was for senior Australians to self-isolate, with the risk of serious illness from coronavirus much higher among older people.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said doctors and optometrists reported older Queenslanders leaving their home to renew their medical certificate when they should be limiting travel.
"The health advice has been clear - stay at home," Mr Bailey said.
Regulatory changes have been made to do two things in response to COVID-19:
• Medical certificates that were obtained to meet the senior driver requirements, that expired after January 29, 2020, will be considered valid until six months after the COVID-19 emergency ends,
• During this emergency period, senior drivers will not be committing an offence if they drive while not holding a valid medical certificate.
These changes come into effect today.
"These changes will help to reduce the risk of virus exposure senior Queensland drivers would face when visiting a clinic and taking medical exams," Mr Bailey said.
"The more people staying at home, the more we can lessen the strain on our health system.
"I encourage everyone in the community to relay this information to older friends and relatives to help ease their concerns."