Driving Programs

Policy

The TAC can fund the reasonable cost of a driving program that is required as a direct result of a client's transport accident injuries, to enable a client to commence or return to safe and competent driving.

Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.3 'rehabilitation service', s.23 and s.60

Definitions

In this policy:

  • Driving program refers to a program with a training objective to return a client to safe driving. The driving lessons are conducted by a qualified driving instructor in liaison with an occupational therapist. Defensive and advanced driving courses focus on different training objectives and are not part of this kind of driving program.
  • Driving lessons refers to standard driving lessons by a qualified driving instructor who holds a current 'Driver Instructor Authority' from VicRoads in a vehicle which is dual controlled and is equipped with standard features. Ref. Road Safety (Driver Instructors) Regulations 1999
  • Specialised rehabilitation driving lessons refers to specialised rehabilitation driving lessons by a qualified driving instructor who holds a current 'Driver Instructor Authority' from VicRoads in a vehicle which is dual-controlled and is equipped with modified features or adaptations. A limited number of driving instructors are experienced in providing specialised driver tuition to meet the individual needs of people with disabilities or medical conditions. These driving instructors can provide lessons in and training on how to use adaptations in modified motor vehicles. Ref. Road Safety (Driver Instructors) Regulations 1999

Guidelines

Who is eligible for a driving program?

The TAC can fund a driving program for a client where the transport accident injury imposes physical, psychological or cognitive restrictions on driving. For example, spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury or psychological injury.

What information is required to consider a request for a driving program?

In order to consider a request for a driving program, the following information should be supplied to the TAC:

  • medical clearance - a medical certificate written by a suitably qualified medical practitioner or specialist confirming that the client is fit to drive and is sufficiently capable of receiving driver training and practice, and
  • a copy of the 'VicRoads Occupational Therapy Car Drivers Evaluation Form', completed by a occupational therapist trained to conduct drivers' assessments, and
  • a copy of the 'VicRoads Medical Report Form', completed by a suitably qualified medical practitioner, or
  • a copy of the 'VicRoads Psychiatric Report Form For Drivers'. Ref. S24, S27 Road Safety Act 1986, Road Safety (Drivers) Regulations 1999

In relation to the supply of information the TAC will pay for:

  • the medical examination(s), medical certificate and medical report costs, and
  • the occupational therapist driving assessment costs, and
  • reasonable travel costs incurred by the client to attend any medical exam or occupational therapist assessment required by VicRoads.

Who will not be considered for a driving program?

The TAC will not pay for driving lessons for a client if his/her driver licence or learner permit is under suspension or cancelled for reasons which are not directly related to his/her transport accident injuries, e.g., a client's licence is cancelled because of drink-driving and the client is disqualified from driving for 6 months. Before a request for driving lessons can be considered, the TAC must recieve advice from VicRoads that the suspension or cancellation has been lifted.

What if a charge in relation to driving has not been laid but may be laid and a client applies for driving lessons?

If the client's licence is not suspended or cancelled and charges have not been laid but may be laid, the TAC will consider a request for funding driving lessons. If the client is later charged and convicted of an offence such as drink-driving, the TAC will withdraw funding of lessons until such time as the suspension or cancellation has been lifted.

What if the client who is requesting driving lessons has never held a licence, but would like to start driving?

The TAC expects a learner driver to have some exposure to driving before the TAC can pay for a driving program. Learner drivers on average have 10 lessons with a professional driving instructor as a normal part of their learning program. Ref. VicRoads, Young Driver Safety and Graduated Licensing 2005

In most circumstances, the TAC will not pay for the first 10 driving lessons a learner driver requires in order to learn the basic skills of driving a car. The TAC can consider paying for the reasonable cost of driving lessons after the first 10 lessons, if a client's need for additional lessons is directly related to his/her transport accident injuries.

How does the 120 hours of supervised driving practice impact on what the TAC can pay for?

From 1 July 2007, learners who are under the age of 21 must have 120 hours of supervised driving practice (including 10 hours of night driving) before they can obtain a probationary licence. The 120 hours is a requirement of the new licencing system and the TAC has no liability in relation to the licensing of a client.

To enable a client to participate in the 120 hours of driving practice required to obtain a probationary licence, the TAC can pay for:

  • minor modifications to a vehicle he/she has access to or owns, to enable the client to undertake driving practice. Refer to the Vehicle Modifications or Contribution Towards the Purchase Cost of a Vehicle policy.
  • on the recommendation of an occupational therapist, appropriate instruction in the use of modifications for the client and the supervising driver (e.g. a parent) to allow appropriate supervision in the modified vehicle.
  • a specialist instructor, where an occupational therapist has recommended this to enable the client to participate in driving practice.

All learner permit holders in Victoria receive from the TAC an information kit that explains the need for 120 hours of supervised driving practice from a fully licensed driver. Further information on learner drivers is available at www.lsite.vicroads.vic.gov.au.

Can the TAC pay for specialised driving assessments or lessons?

The TAC can consider paying for the following if the need is directly related to transport accident injuries:

  • If a client is unlicenced at the date of the transport accident the TAC can pay for the cost of a specialised driving assessment (where required and appropriate),
  • If a client is licensed at the date of the transport accident the TAC can pay for the cost of a specialised driving assessment and lessons (where required and appropriate).

Can the TAC pay for the cost of re-licencing?

There is no provision under the Transport Accident Act 1986 to enable the TAC to cover the cost of re-licencing where a client's licence/permit is under review, suspended or cancelled due to the transport accident injury.

Can the TAC pay for a driving program using a motor vehicle which is different to the type of vehicle driven by the client before the transport accident, e.g. from a motorcycle to a car?

The TAC can pay for a return to driving program for a different type of motor vehicle that was driven by the client before the accident where he/she is unable to drive the type of vehicle used before the accident as a result of his/her transport accident injuries.

Can the TAC consider paying for a driving program for more than one type of motor vehicle?

The TAC can pay for a program to return a client to driving an additional type of motor vehicle for a client who holds more than one type of driving licence in certain circumstances. For example, to return to truck driving as part of a client's return to work program.

What other types of supports can the TAC pay for clients undertaking a driving program?

The TAC can pay for:

What fees are payable to a qualified driver instructor?

  • Driving lessons/assessment fee - for each driving lesson that a qualified driving instructor provides in accordance with the TAC fee schedule for Driving Assessment instructor.
  • Travel fee - for a driving instructor experienced in providing specialised driving instruction where:
    • a client with special needs requires the use of a suitably modified motor vehicle, and the driving lessons recommended by the occupational therapist requires a specialist driving instructor, and
    • a driving instructor with the necessary skills and experience is not located within an area that is near to the client's home. For example, a client lives in a rural area which has a local driving school however the instructor is unsuitable as he/she is not familiar with providing driving lessons to clients with special needs. Refer to the TAC fee schedule for Driving Assessment instructor, and
    • with written prior approval from the TAC.

Who is not eligible for the travel fee?

The travel fee is not available to driving instructors who are not required to provide specialised rehabilitation driving lessons and who normally provide driving lessons in the area where the client lives.

In relation to driving programs what will the TAC not pay for?

The TAC will not pay for:

  • services for a person other than the injured client
  • services for a condition that existed before the transport accident or that is not a direct result of the transport accident
  • services where the service is not safe and there is no clear benefit to the client
  • learner permit and/or licence fees
  • course fees for courses required following driving offences, e.g. drink-driver education courses, advanced driver or defensive driver training courses
  • lessons, when the licence or permit is under suspension or cancellation for non transport accident injury related reasons
  • cancellation fees for driving lessons incurred by driving instructors
  • a driving program for more than one type of vehicle where the client was not licensed for more than one type of vehicle pre-accident and where the additional licence is not required as part of a TAC funded return to work program
  • travel fees to other than a specialist driving instructor in the circumstances outlined in this policy
  • the cost of telephone calls and telephone consultations between providers and clients, and between other providers, including hospitals
  • services received by the injured person outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • services provided more than 2 years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within 3 years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.

 


Driving Assessment (Instructor)

Effective 1 July 2017

Service DescriptionTAC Item Number

2017/18
Maximum
Payment
Rate

2016/17
Maximum
Payment
Rate
Driving Assessment By Driving School - Driving Instructor Fees
For 30 MinutesED0015*$48.60$47.89
For 45 MinutesED0015*$72.90$71.83
For 60 MinutesED0015*$97.20$95.78
Pro-Rata For Longer Periods   

GST

*The TAC maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST for items which TAC believes are taxable supplies.  If you are a provider not registered for GST:

  • You are not legally permitted to charge GST
  • You should indicate on all invoices submitted your status as 'not registered for GST purposes'
  • The TAC will only reimburse you an amount which excludes the GST component for items billed where the maximum fee includes a 10% allowance for GST

If you are not registered for GST please state on all invoices the TAC item number listed for providers not registered.