The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), dangerous goods regulators and driver licensing authorities should extend all full-term truck driver medical certificates by six months, Australian Trucking Association Chair Geoff Crouch said today.
The Mr Crouch made the call after the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced an effective six month extension of pilot and air traffic controller medical certificates.
“Many truck drivers, including drivers who operate under NHVAS fatigue accreditation and drivers with dangerous goods licences, are required to have regular medicals,” Mr Crouch said.
“The ATA supports these medical requirements and has made significant contributions to the development of the driver medical standards, particularly on hearing and sleep apnoea. Our own TruckSafe scheme requires all truck drivers to hold medicals; for some time it was the largest men’s health program in the country.
“But right now, we need to take as much pressure off the health care system as we can.
“The ATA is proposing that all routine, full term driver medicals should be extended by six months.
“Under our approach, the extension would not apply to medicals where the examining doctor considered that the driver should have to come back early for their next review.
“Our proposal would enable governments to reduce the number of unnecessary doctors’ appointments, while still requiring medicals for drivers with a higher risk of medical issues,” he said.
Mr Crouch said that the ATA’s TruckSafe program would align with any medical certificate extension agreed by governments.
The Australian Trucking Association and its member associations collectively represent the businesses and people of the Australian trucking industry. Together, the ATA and its members are committed to safety, professionalism and viability.