Driver who hit mo­bil­ity scooter on cross­ing could only see 4 me­tres

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMOTORIST who could only see four me­tres in front of him hit a mo­bil­ity scooter on a pedes­trian cross­ing.

Karl Eck­ert, 58, was be­hind the wheel of his Land Rover when it was in­volved in the ac­ci­dent on June 15, last year.

Al­though the lights were green and the driver of the scooter was not in­jured, po­lice were called and gave Eck­ert a road­side eye­sight test.

The law states that to be com­pe­tent to drive you should be able to read a reg­is­tra­tion mark from 20m in good day­light.

Of­fi­cers were stunned to find Eck­ert, who was not wear­ing any glasses, was un­able to see past 4m.

Eck­ert, of Ridge View, Mac­cles­field, ad­mit­ted driv­ing while suf­fer­ing from de­fec­tive eye­sight at Mac­cles­field mag­is­trates’ court on Oc­to­ber 20 last year,

Eck­ert was fined £75 and had his li­cence en­dorsed with three points. He must also pay £105 in court costs.

PC Ryan Og­den, the ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer, said it was a very un­usual case and it is lucky no one was in­jured.

He added: “It’s a le­gal re­quire­ment when driv­ing that you ad­here to the eye­sight re­quire­ment.

“Not only is fail­ing to do so il­le­gal, but it’s also dan­ger­ous and im­pacts on the safety of all road users as can be seen in this case. Luck­ily there were no in­juries.”

The in­ci­dent hap­pened on Mob­ber­ley Road, Knutsford.

Speak­ing af­ter the sen­tence on Jan­uary 28, Eck­ert said the ‘near-miss’ had been a ‘huge wake-up call’.

The part-time farmer said: “The woman in the mo­bil­ity scooter, who I would es­ti­mate was in her 70s or 80s, tried to get across the road ahead of me when the lights were green. I clipped her try­ing to avoid hit­ting her and wrote my car off on a bar­rier. It was a near-miss.”

Eck­ert suf­fers from ker­a­to­conus, a rare eye dis­ease which causes dis­tor­tion of vi­sion, but said he didn’t re­alise his eye­sight was so bad.

He said: “I was di­ag­nosed with some­thing known as rugby eyes when I was 15 and needed glasses. Later on I started us­ing con­tact lenses but didn’t get on with them. I hadn’t been us­ing them at the time of the in­ci­dent.

“I was re­ally sur­prised when the po­lice said I could only read a num­ber plate from four me­tres. It makes me very glad noth­ing more se­ri­ous hap­pened.

“This has been a huge wake up call. I would urge any­one un­sure of their eyes to get them checked.”

Eck­ert, who has since had his li­cence re­voked by the DVLA, says he is plan­ning to ap­peal the driv­ing ban now he has glasses and con­tact lenses to cor­rect his vi­sion.

He said: “I had ad­mit­ted I did some­thing wrong and taken my pun­ish­ment.

“I have then taken steps to make sure I drive safely with the cor­rect pre­scrip­tion glasses or con­tact lenses. A ban from driv­ing is com­pletely un­nec­es­sary and un­fair. I need my li­cence to be able to drive to feed and tend to my an­i­mals.”

Matt Rat­cliffe

●● Karl Eck­ert has had his li­cence re­voked by the DVLA but is plan­ning to ap­peal

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