Australia’s first ever bioptic driving demonstration day
Bioptic driving is the use of a telescope device as assistive technology reasonable adjustment that gives functional support to people with low vision to allow them to drive safely.
Bioptic Drivers Australia recently hosted Australia’s first ever bioptic driving demonstration day to show Australian's that bioptic driving is available and can be used by people living with central vision impairment conditions to learn to drive or continue to drive.
WIN News attended the driving demonstration and their news segment can be viewed here on Facebook.
Bioptic driving has been practiced in Australia since at least the 1980s but due to lack of awareness little is known about it.
Bioptic Drivers Australia (BDA) believe bioptic driving will be of enormous benefit to people living in regional and remote areas and those areas not well serviced by public transport. BDA advise they had overwhelming support and interest from the community since the the driving demonstration event on 10 November at Wakefield Park, Goulburn, NSW. Importantly, people just cannot believe they have not heard of bioptic driving before and that it is an option for some people currently being denied driver licences.
BDA are seeking ‘formalisation’ of bioptic driving in Australia by means of a standard in the national legal instrument Assessing Fitness to Drive Guidelines along with formal bioptic driving programs implemented by all state and territory driving licence authorities. This is similar to what is already available to other disability groups in Australia. BDA want potential bioptic drivers to have opportunity to have a comprehensive assessment of eyesight function along with tailored pre-driver mobility training and low vision driver training.
Earlier this year BDA provided a submission to the National Transport Commission on establishing a bioptic driving framework for Australia. The public submission is available here.
In 2020 PwC prepared an evidence based report Introducing an Australian Bioptic Driving Framework. The report demonstrates how a framework can be implemented, provides estimates of potential numbers of bioptic drivers and information on safety and research.
More information on bioptic driving and the work of BDA is available via: