We refer to Dr Oh Jen Jen’s letter (Is health of public transport drivers vetted thoroughly?, Sep 30).
All vocational licence (VL) holders must undergo and pass their medical examinations before they are allowed to drive a public service vehicle (PSV). The medical regime, which has been jointly developed by the Singapore Medical Association and the Ministry of Health, include vision test, blood pressure measurement and in the case of new applicants, a chest x-ray.
The frequency and scope of such medical checks increase with age. All VL holders aged 50 to 64 are required to undergo a medical examination once every two years while those aged 65 and above have to do so annually.
VL holders aged 70 to 75 are required to go for an additional assessment on their fitness to drive. The assessment includes off-road and on-road tests, as well as tests on reaction time, vision, cognitive abilities, and physical control of vehicle. However, the drivers also have a responsibility to declare any existing conditions. VL holders with pre-existing health conditions or those undergoing treatment are required to provide a letter from their attending physicians or specialists, to certify their fitness to drive a PSV.
These medical examinations and assessments provide a general overview of the driver’s health status. When drivers feel unwell, they should be responsible and quickly seek medical attention. They should also refrain from driving for their own safety, and that of the passengers and other road users. We are aware that some taxi operators waive or reimburse rental fee if taxi drivers produce documentation proof that they are unfit for work.
Yeo Teck Guan (Mr)
Senior Group Director, Public Transport
Land Transport Authority