The importance of good eyesight for drivers’ highlighted to Roads Minister by BBR Optometry’s chairman

5 November 2018

BBR chairman Nick Rumney has met with UK Roads Minister and local MP, Jesse Norman, to discuss the importance of good eyesight for all road users.

Mr Rumney, a passionate advocate of road safety and a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, met with Mr Norman at BBR Optometry’s St Owen Street practice in Hereford following a recent DVLA survey that highlighted how 50 per cent of motorists are not aware of the minimum eyesight standards needed for a driving licence.

All motorists are required to see a number-plate from 20 metres as well as achieve 6/12 on an eyesight chart. But the DVLA reported that only half of those questioned actually knew about the eye test and undertook self-checks.

“I used the opportunity of meeting Mr Norman to discuss the importance of checking and maintaining good eyesight for all motorists.

"The fact that the DVLA found 50 per cent of UK motorists did not know about the registration plate check is rather worrying, especially as the number-plate is, after all, just a rough and ready roadside test and does not take into account aspects such as peripheral vision and glare,” said Mr Rumney.

“Of course, there is also the matter of the legal obligation if a person is under treatment for an eye condition to advise the DVLA who will arrange further testing if necessary.

"We discussed how awareness needs to be raised and to ensure anyone driving a vehicle has a regular eye examination by an optometrist to ensure their eyesight is good enough to drive.

“It is recommended that an eye examination should be undertaken at least every two years and at the very least before a person self-certifies their licence application which is every 3 years after the age of 70. This is vitally important for anyone who is getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.”

In 2017 the Association of Optometrists said compulsory eye tests should be required every 10 years.

“No matter how good anyone thinks their eyesight is there can be changes, sometimes subtle at times, that can make a difference to vision and for motorists, this can make all the difference when it comes to driving and the safety of other road users and pedestrians," said Mr Rumney.

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