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Drivers urged not to swerve eye tests to keep their licences

Brits face immediate driving ban if they fail roadside test

Following news that British police are to crackdown on drivers with poor vision, Optical Express urge drivers to get their eyes tested and wear their glasses or contact lenses at all times when behind the wheel.

Police forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire and the West Midlands have introduced an immediate ban for drivers who cannot read a number plate from 20 metres when pulled over at the roadside. The test is being trialled to improve the understanding of poor driver vision in the UK.

According to Brake, the road safety charity, road crashes involving a driver with poor vision are estimated to cause nearly 3,000 casualties in the UK per year. Studies also estimate that approximately 1.8 million drivers have vision below the minimum legal standard*.

Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director at Optical Express said: “Good eyesight is an essential requirement for safe driving. Drivers with poor vision increase their risk of collisions due to not seeing hazards and their inability to react in time to driving hazards. A number of drivers are also unaware they actually have a vision impairment and as a result never seek or receive the proper vision correction or treatment they need.

“It is imperative that members of the public who hold a driving licence have a regular eye examination, in order to make sure they meet the necessary requirements. For some, a repeat examination would be recommended on an annual basis with the majority being every two years.

“Our eyesight changes over time, so passing the sight test when you first passed your driving test doesn’t necessarily mean your sight is still up to standard. It is a very important public safety matter in the interest of the individual driver and the general public, as well as being a legal requirement before driving a car. Plus, with free eye tests widely available with purchase, it’s easy to get your eyesight checked on a regular basis.

*Drivers and motorcyclists must be able to read a standard number plate from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5m for an old-style number plate) wearing corrective lenses if required. You must wear glasses or contact lenses every time you drive if you need them to meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’.


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