Should A Full Eye Test Be A Part of Passing Your Driving Test?

Wed 5th Feb 2020

Four out of five UK drivers believe that passing an eye test should be a prerequisite for gaining your driving licence according to a new poll.

The current driving test sees drivers having to perform a ‘number plate test’ where they must correctly read out a vehicle’s number plate from a distance of 20m, but according to a poll by ZEISS Vision Care UK, there are many who feel that drivers should be made to take an eye test before they are even allowed to start learning to drive. 85 per cent of those quizzed said that learner drivers should be forced to take an eye test before they can take their first lesson.

The penalty for failing the ‘number plate test’ is deemed harsh by many, with those who fail having their provisional licence revoked and while a new licence can be gained by taking another eye test at a test centre, the learner will still have to take the eye test again when they retake their practical.

Eye sight, or the lack of it, in older drivers is particularly under scrutiny by the poll, with more than two thirds of those questioned saying that they felt that those over 50 must take an eye test every year and that opinion rises to 84 per cent for the over-70s.

Sofia Fazal, Professional Services Manager at ZEISS Vision Care UK said: “Our research shows that there is just as much appetite for a change in the law amongst the public as there is amongst road safety organisations, and we would welcome a fresh look at the current legislation.

“This time of year, with poor weather, longer nights and low winter sun all negatively impacting drivers’ vision is particularly dangerous on the roads so we would recommend that drivers take proactive steps and book a simple eye test to ensure their eyesight is good enough for them to be safely behind the wheel.”