Usefulness of Austroads' fitness-to-drive guidelines: lessons from the Gillett case
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Regina v Gillett deals with a man who did not disclose his epilepsy when seeking a drivers licence. Subsequently, he had a seizure while driving, causing an accident in which three people died. He was found guilty but appealed. During the trial to decide whether Gillett was guilty of dangerous driving occasioning death, the judge decided that the Austroads fitness-to-drive guidelines were extraneous to legal consideration of the acceptable risk to be attached to chronic medical conditions. Although the appeal was unsuccessful with respect to guilt and sentencing, it did reinstate the relevance of the Austroads guidelines when evaluating suitable risk with respect to potentially dangerous drivers. We suggest that even greater protection can be afforded to the community if a clearly enunciated warning, outlining a driver's responsibilities, were to appear on each drivers license.
Medical Journal of Australia
Copyright 2009 Australasian Medical Publishing Company. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
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