If you drive a car in Australia and you are autistic, or have identified yourself as “on the spectrum” (neurodivergent), are you aware that they changed the national (driving) standards last year?
I am NOT autistic (for the record). If I was then I would need to be be “assessed individually” to continue to hold my drivers license?!
to quote the relevant article:
Department of Transport and Main Roads spokesperson: all autistic drivers in Queensland have since 2012 been required to obtain a medical clearance from a doctor to show they are fit to drive.
I’m also not ADHD.
And despite having served in my country’s military for over a decade, no I definitely don’t have PTSD.
Because if autism requires medical clearance then I would presume other “similar” conditions do too right?
I am okay though. I’m one of the lucky few to have legal documents that profess to a clean bill of mental health and I am most defiantly not neuro divergent (phew!).
You’re not insured
There are obvious insurance and liability issues. In much the same way, if you have an accident whilst under the influence, or drive without glasses (when your license says you need them), your insurer will take issue.
Arguably you are driving without a valid license — which means you‘re probably not insured.
Thank about that.
Here’s the ABC article on the matter that was posted today:
Autistic drivers in legal limbo depending where they live after new licence standards quietly…
Thousands of autistic drivers could find their Australian licences are in legal limbo due to changes quietly made last…
Here’s my Tik Tok post if you prefer video over text:
What’s the big deal?
Now you might say what’s the big deal — just go get the assessment and prove you’re not a threat to others?
Um.. Look at the time and costs involved in proving you are capable of being trusted behind the wheel that the ABC article highlights.
Disability leads to poverty.
If you aren’t aware of the stats behind that statement then you haven’t been paying attention. It is what it is. But this will make things worse.
From a deeply cynical perspective, if you were wondering what the Australian government was going to do to curb the “excessive” autism based applications for support against the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) …
Now you know.
Hey — good news is they walked back from this idea in the UK. It’s just going to take work by advocates to get that result in Australia.
Is that you? Then lets talk some more.