30 per cent of mo­torists driv­ing with poor vi­sion

Calls for tougher sight tests to com­bat dan­gers on the road

Auto Express - - Inbox - Hugo Grif­fiths

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

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