30 per cent of motorists driving with poor vision
Calls for tougher sight tests to combat dangers on the road
NEARLY a third of motorists are driving with failing eyesight, prompting calls from optometrists for tougher vision tests.
An Association of Optometrists study found 30 per cent of motorists admitted to getting behind the wheel despite doubting whether their vision is adequate to do so. A further 60 per cent said they’d continue driving even if told their sight didn’t meet current standards.
A third of the optometrists interviewed reported seeing a patient in the past month who continued to drive despite their vision being sub-standard. Current rules require a motorist to read a number plate from 20 metres as part of their L-test. No further vision checks are required. Instead, they must self-report sight problems to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency – a system 91 per cent of optometrists feel is inadequate.
Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency statistics show 10,000 drivers lost their licence last year due to poor vision. Dr Julie Anne-little from the Association of Optometrists said the DVLA “falls behind many other countries” in this regard, and that nine out of 10 optometrists want regular eye tests for drivers.
She explained that because “sight changes can be gradual, often people won’t realise their vision has deteriorated”.
Study found shock number of motorists on road despite poor eyesight