Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Hon Troy Buswell BEc MLA

Former Treasurer; Minister for Transport

    Driving tests for older drivers to be abolished

    21/11/2013 12:00 AM
    • Removal of compulsory practical tests for drivers aged 85 years and older who are renewing a C class licence
    • Annual medical requirements for drivers aged 80 years and older to continue
    • Research shows older drivers not over-represented in serious crash statistics

    Drivers aged 85 years and older will no longer be forced to undergo a mandatory practical driving assessment when renewing their car licence in Western Australia.


    Licence holders aged 80 years and older must still undergo annual medical tests, however they would only be required to undergo a driving assessment if it is recommended by a doctor. These drivers get a new licence card every year once all criteria are met. 


    Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the changes would come into effect from December 16, and were supported by road safety research. 


    “Research demonstrates that older drivers are not disproportionately represented in crash statistics. They actually show drivers aged 85 years and older accounted for about one per cent of serious or fatal crashes in the past five years,” Mr Buswell said.


    “This shows that older drivers do not pose an unacceptable risk on our roads and that these outdated testing requirements, based on misconceptions or stereotypes, were potentially discriminatory.”


    The Minister said the changes would bring the State into line with nearly every Australian jurisdiction.


    The State Government already has stringent safety requirements in place for drivers of any age, including mandatory reporting of medical conditions or driving impairments for all licence holders, which was introduced in 2008.


    “Mandatory reporting has proven the best method to identify drivers of all ages who are potentially a high-risk on our roads,” Mr Buswell said.


    “Compulsory practical driving assessments for drivers aged over 85 places unnecessary stress on many of our senior citizens, many of whom are effectively managing their driving practices in line with their ability.”


           Fact File

    • There are about 11,500 C-class licence holders aged 85 years and older
    • In the past five years drivers aged 20-29 years old represented the highest number of fatal and serious crashes on our roads at 30%
    • In 2011, Tasmania ceased aged-based PDAs after the State’s Anti-Discrimination Commissioner reported that compulsory aged-based driving assessments were discriminatory

    Minister’s office - 6552 6400