Driver who hit mobility scooter on crossing could only see 4 metres
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.”
●● Karl Eckert has had his licence revoked by the DVLA but is planning to appeal