COVID-19: Queensland Transport Beaudesert has cancelled driving tests

SAFETY FIRST: Queensland Transport says anyone who may be carrying the novel coronavirus should stay away.
SAFETY FIRST: Queensland Transport says anyone who may be carrying the novel coronavirus should stay away.

UPDATE: Friday, 8am

A spokesperson from Transport and Main Roads says driving tests from Saturday have been cancelled after a risk assessment investigation.

"We undertook a risk assessment of COVID-19 exposure to public and staff during a practical driving test," the spokesperson said.

"Tests are conducted in a confined space with less than 1.5 metres between the driver examiner and the customer. They last for about 45 minutes.

"We considered the guidelines for social distancing and hygiene practices as recommended by Queensland Health.

"As a result, testing for light vehicles and heavy vehicles will be suspended for three months (subject to review) from Saturday, 28 March.

"Customers who have scheduled practical driving tests will be notified and have an option to either receive a refund or retain the funds in their customer account to use for a future booking."

UPDATE: 5pm

AFTER denying reports of a woman coming out of self-isolation early to take her driving test in Beaudesert this week, the Transport Department has issued an announcement on Facebook that all driving tests will now be cancelled.

The post read:

"In order to protect the health and wellbeing of the community during COVID-19, all practical driving tests will be cancelled for three months from Saturday, 28 March 2020.

"This change in service delivery is in line with Queensland Health guidelines and advice.

"If you already had a driving test booked, you'll receive an email or SMS to tell you the test has been cancelled.

"We apologise for any inconvenience as Queensland responds to this unprecedented pandemic event.

"All booking fees will be refunded for customers who had a driving test booked."

Earlier:

REPORTS of a young woman turning up to Beaudesert for her driving test while in self-isolation for COVID-19 were untrue, says Queensland Transport.

A spokesperson said driving test applicants were being advised to reschedule bookings online or cancel appointments by phone if they felt unwell before or on the day of their test.

"They must also reschedule or cancel tests if required to self-isolate based on advice from Queensland Health or a health practitioner," he said.

"Anyone arriving for a practical driving test displaying symptoms of illness may have their test cancelled and be asked to leave to ensure the safety of our staff and customers."

A Scenic Rim driving instructor who wishes to remain anonymous said it was impossible to follow social distancing rules during driving lessons or tests.

"I am not taking any new clients for driving lessons and I am only meeting commitments to three clients who have booked their tests because there is a possibility that those who cancel now will have to wait another six to 12 months to get their licences," he said.

"There are no specific rules for us yet but the reality is, driving instructors and examiners are sitting about half a metre from another person for 25 minutes at least.

"I had a call from someone who wanted to cancel his son's driving lessons and said his son had accepted the fact that he would have to wait.

"It's easy to take the 'she'll be right' approach but it's not worth the risk when it comes to people's health."

TMR said further contingency strategies were being considered to ensure the welfare of Queensland Transport staff and customers as the current pandemic response evolves.