Some should not get behind wheel

A QUEENSLAND Police Service spokesman says there have been several incidents on the Sunshine Coast where drivers have accessed the Bruce Hwy in the wrong direction or driven a car into a building.

Rather than senior adult drivers being the primary offenders, more often the incidents have involved people impaired by their medical condition or medication.

"Where a medical condition is believed to have contributed (to poor driving), Queensland Police Service officers will investigate to establish if it (the condition) is a contributing factor to the manner of driving," he said.

"This may include interviewing witnesses to the driving, persons immediately known to the driver and any medical practitioner associated with the driver."

The police spokesman said Queensland licence holders must report any long-term medical conditions that affected their ability to drive safely.

"The onus is on the licence holder to report a medical condition as soon as they develop - they cannot wait until they renew their licence," he said.

"If a licence holder does not report a medical condition, they may receive a fine of more than $7000 and have their licence cancelled."

He said it was possible driving with a medical condition was as bad as driving drunk or on drugs, but each case was different.

"If someone is concerned with a person operating a motor vehicle, who has a diminished capacity mentally or physically or is impaired, they should advise police," the spokesman said.

He suggested phoning Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Policelink on 131444, or jumping online to access those services.

He said some of the medications that could interfere with a person's ability to drive safely included:

  • Sleeping pills
  • Anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications
  • Painkillers
  • Allergy and cough/cold medicines
  • Diabetes medications
  • Blood pressure medications.

Advice should be sought from a doctor or pharmacist about the effects of medications on driving ability, he said, adding that different drugs could interact with each other and impair driving ability.


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