UK Motorists Driving With Below Legal Standard Vision

Thu 8th Nov 2018

A new report from the Association of Optometrists has revealed that many drivers are driving, despite being below the minimum vision standards.

The findings from the AOP come as almost 3,000 injuries per year are thought to be caused by drivers with poor vision. Under current laws, a driver undergoes the number plate test and then self-declares each time they renew their licence. This law means that a 17-year can pass their test by proving they read a number plate from 20 metres and then never have their sight scrutinised for driving purposes ever again.

The AOP report reveals that 44 per cent of optometrists in the UK have seen a patient in the last month who has continued to drive despite being told their vision is below legal standards. The same report says that a quarter of Britons wouldn’t stop their partner from driving, even if they believed their sight wasn’t safe for driving.

The AOP has launched a ‘Don’t Swerve A Sight Test’ campaign in order to tighten up laws it is calling the most relaxed in Europe, calling on the government to make sight tests mandatory every 10 years and more frequently after the age of 70.

“It is shocking that so many drivers are overlooking the importance of good vision,” said AOP professional, Henry Leonard. “Sight loss can often be gradual, and people may not notice changes that could affect their ability to drive.

“This campaign is about reminding drivers that regular visits to their optometrist are the best way to make sure they meet the legal standard for driving and help make our roads safer.”