VicRoads medical review process criticized as drivers left unaware their license had been cancelled

Since 2016, Warragul driver Sean DeAraugo has been living with a medical condition that requires him to report to Victoria’s licensing authority VicRoads.

Usually, VicRoads requests a medical review by post, and Mr. DeAraugo goes to his doctor to complete the form so he can continue driving.

In 2020–21, Mr DeAraugo said he did not receive a letter from VicRoads requesting a medical review.

“I didn’t notice at the time because we were in the midst of COVID, and normal life wasn’t really happening,” he said.

“The next thing I knew, I was pulled over by the police in 2021, and I was informed by the police that my license was suspended.”

Mr. DeAraugo was in shock.

Police charged him with driving while his license was suspended.

He immediately contacted VicRoads, and they emailed him the medical form.

“I said, ‘In the future can you email me this correspondence? Because I don’t want this to happen again,'” he said.

“I was told that they are legally required to request the medical reviews by post.”

Mr. DeAraugo’s license has since been reinstated.

However, he is still facing criminal charges and is due to appear before the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court in February 2023.

If found guilty, Mr. DeAraugo could have a criminal record.

“I’m finding it quite stressful,” he said.

“While common sense tells me I haven’t done anything wrong … I am worried that the outcome may not be as good as I would like.”

Communication breakdown

VicRoads told Mr DeAraugo they sent him one letter requesting the medical review in February 2021 and another in June 2021 to say his license had been suspended because he had not completed the review.

Mr DeAraugo says he believes something went amiss with the mail at VicRoads’ end.

“On this occasion, I haven’t received the letter about the medical review nor the license being suspended,” he said.

“I haven’t missed any other mail during that time from any other organization.”

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