EEGs & Assessing Fitness To Drive

PATIENT INFORMATION REGARDING DRIVER’S LICENCE FORMS

Your Doctor may refer you for an EEG if your driver’s licence has been suspended due to epilepsy, fits, faints or funny turns.EEG TEST WITH SCIENTIST AND PATIENT1

An EEG is a painless test which records electrical activity of the brain.  This test is used particularly when investigating and managing epilepsy. EEGs are mostly performed with a patient sitting in a chair, with a cap and leads attached. We also perform prolonged and ambulatory EEG studies for up to 72 hours.

Normal EEG

EEG-Normal copy

Abnormal EEG

Abnormal-EEG. copy


Austroads advise that a GP may fill in the prescribed form for Main Roads for driving clearance as there are certain criteria to be met.

The GP will also:

  1. Examine the patient
  2. Examine the patient’s vision
  3. Advise the patient if a medical condition impacts on their ability to drive safely
  4. Encourage the patient to report their condition to Queensland Transport via a Medical Condition Notification Form (Appendix 2.4 in the Fitness To Drive Handbook available on www.austroads.com.au)
  5. Maintain confidentiality unless they feel the condition poses a significant threat to public safety

(Doctors and QLD Transport do not normally communicate directly with each other so as to maintain patient confidentiality. Doctors may communicate with the DLA in extraordinary situations)

How does a patient go about getting clearance?

  1. Obtain a Medical Certificate from QLD Transport on 13 23 80
  2. Make an appointment with their GP to have an examination and their form filled in
  3. Take form to QLD Transport in person
  4. QLD Transport will automatically send another form annually for the patient to have filled in by their GP

It is the patient’s responsibility to:

  1. Report their condition to QLD Transport
  2. Obtain medical certificate to have the GP fill in
  3. Forward the form to QLD Transport
  4. Complete the form annually

Information for Private Licence holders can be obtained at www.austroads.com.au or QLD Transport on 13 23 80 or www.transport.qld.gov.au

What type of health conditions might affect your ability to drive safely?

Driving a motor vehicle is a complex task requiring perception, good judgment, responsiveness and reasonable physical capability. A range of medical conditions, as well as treatments, may therefore impair your driving ability. Common neurological conditions where an EEG is required include:

  • Blackouts or fainting
  • Sleep disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Age-related decline

 

Other conditions not related to EEG testing:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Vision problems

 

Having a disease or condition that might affect your driving doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to drive at all. It might mean that you have to see your doctor more often to check that your illness is well managed and it might mean that there are some restrictions placed on your driving.

What is a conditional licence?

In most cases, having a medical condition will not stop you from driving, as the licensing authority is able to issue a conditional licence. This means that you may continue to drive as long as certain conditions or restrictions are met. Conditions may include driving during daylight hours, the wearing of glasses or corrective lenses when driving, or attending your doctor for a periodic review and providing a report to the Driver Licensing Authority. Your doctor may make recommendations to the Driver Licensing Authority about a conditional licence but the Authority will make the final decision.

If you are issued with a conditional licence it is your responsibility to comply with any driving restrictions or other conditions and to be reviewed by your doctor as required.

Will your doctor notify the Licensing Authority if you are not well enough to drive?

As the relationship between you and your doctor is a confidential one, your doctor will not normally communicate directly with the Driver Licensing Authority. He or she will provide you with advice about your ability to drive safely as well as a letter or report to take to the authority.

Doctors also have an obligation to public safety so your doctor may notify the Driver Licensing Authority directly if he or she feels your condition poses a significant threat to public safety.

What happens if you don’t follow your doctor’s advice?

If you continue to drive despite your doctor’s advice and you do not report to the Driver Licensing Authority, you are not fulfilling your legal responsibility. If you are involved in a crash under these circumstances and it is found that your health condition was a contributing factor, you may be prosecuted and your insurance may not be valid.

If your doctor is aware that you are continuing to drive and feels that your driving is a serious risk to you and other road users, he or she may feel obliged to notify directly to the Licensing Authority directly.