Bring in regular eye tests for drivers, demands GEM

Written by Ellie

Better regulation of eyesight tests for drivers would reduce the number of car crashes on Britain’s roads. That’s the view of road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

Currently, the only eyesight assessment for motorists is during the physical driving test when they are asked to read a registration plate from 20 metres away.

However, drivers should undergo a detailed vision test every ten years, according to GEM.

A survey of more than 2,000 GEM members found that 87 per cent felt that compulsory eye testing would result in safer roads.

“If you can’t see effectively, you shouldn’t be driving,” said GEM road safety officer Neil Wort. “But the truth is that there are many drivers whose eyesight has deteriorated to very dangerous levels.”

Ideally, GEM would want compulsory eyesight tests every two years, particularly for drivers 40 and above.

However, they admit that a more practical and enforceable measure would be to test visual acuity and field of view every ten years to coincide with licence renewal.

DVLA guidelines to medical professionals state that eyesight can decline gradually and unnoticed, with people losing up to 40 per cent of their visual ability without being aware of deterioration.

“Many more people are staying behind the wheel into their eighties and beyond,” Mr Worth highlighted.

“This, coupled with the greater volume of traffic and an increase in distractions, both inside and outside the vehicle, points to the clear need for more regular and detailed eyesight testing.”

Natalie Brinkley, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “Anything that could make UK roads safer should definitely be investigated.”

Posted on 27th March 2017

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