Quarter of motorists ‘not confident’ they can see to drive

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

One in four UK motorists say they would struggle to pass the police eye test check – the test used to determine if a driver’s eyesight meets the minimum standard. 


The practical driving test includes an eyesight check, where candidates must prove they can read a number plate from  a distance of 20 metres. After having passed the driving test, there is no legal requirement for a driver to check their eyesight again.


A recent survey conducted by fleet management specialists, Venson Automotive Solutions, found that a quarter of the 200 motorists surveyed said they were ‘not very confident’ or ‘not at all confident’ that they would be able to read a number plate from 20 metres.


Just 39% of respondents felt they were ‘very confident’ that they would be able to read a number plate from the required distance. 70% of motorists surveyed had started wearing glasses or contact lenses since passing their test.


Venson stated that unless a person drives for work purposes, where regular eye tests are required under EU law, it is ‘impossible’ to monitor any changes in a driver’s vision. 


Director of Client Management at Venson Automotive Solutions, Simon Staton, commented; “The fact that only 39% of respondents were very confident they would be able to read a number plate from 20m (65ft) away is very worrying. By law this check is only required before a person takes their practical test, there is no further legal requirement to check it again.”


“No business can afford to have an employee’s driving licence revoked on the spot. We therefore advise fleet managers and those responsible for duty of care for employees driving for company business, to ensure regular eyesight tests take place and any changes in circumstances documented. This will reduce risk of business liability as well as increase safety on our roads.”


Earlier this year, DVLA launched a campaign to urge motorists to take the ‘number plate test’ regularly to ensure they are fit to drive. 


Dr Wyn Parry, the DVLA’s senior doctor, said the number plate test was important for safe road use to make sure a driver’s eyesight is up to standard. “Having good eyesight is essential for safe driving so it’s really important for drivers to have regular eye tests. Eyesight can naturally deteriorate over time so anyone concerned about their eyesight should visit their optician – don’t wait for your next check-up.”


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