Improving health screening for heavy vehicle drivers

The NTC is identifying options to improve the diagnosis and screening of sleep apnoea, diabetes and cardiac risk levels to support heavy vehicle operators and drivers manage the risks posed by ill health.  

It builds on the existing work we do developing guidelines to help health professionals assess fitness to drive. 

Background

The NTC regularly reviews and updates the Assessing Fitness to Drive Guidelines (the AFTD guidelines). The AFTD guidelines ensure medical standards reflect current medical knowledge and practices.  

Australia’s transport ministers have now asked us to undertake a review of options to improve the diagnosis of sleep apnoea, diabetes and cardiac risk levels in heavy vehicle drivers. 

Findings may be incorporated into the next review of the AFTD Guidelines in 2025.

Engagement

We will be engaging with the heavy vehicle industry, heavy vehicle regulator, jurisdictions, driver licensing authorities, unions and medical professionals to develop an options paper.  

Later this year, there will be a public consultation on the options. 

The review is expected to be completed by June 2025.   

If an Impact Analysis looking at broader economic and social impacts is required, the NTC will have another public consultation in 2025.  

Our approach

We are establishing a Heavy Vehicle Health Advisory Group to review proposed options, as well as three working groups focused on either cardiovascular conditions, diabetes and sleep disorders.  

The advisory group will include representatives from all Australian governments, driver licensing authorities, the heavy vehicle regulator, the heavy vehicle industry, unions, academia and medical professionals.  

Where relevant, findings of the review will be considered as part of the next review of the AFTD guidelines for commercial drivers scheduled for 2025-27. 

Who we will engage with

  • Heavy Vehicle Health Advisory Group 
  • cardiovascular conditions working group, including the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand  
  • diabetes working group, including the Australian Diabetes Society  
  • sleep disorders working group, including the Australasian Sleep Association; and
  • the community.  

How to participate

You can make a submission to our public consultation on proposed options later this year. 

Contact us

Contact email enquiries@ntc.gov.au