The only legal requirement on the UK roads is that drivers are able to read a license plate from 20 metres away.
At the driving test, around 2000 people fail simply because they are unable to do this, but this figure could be dramatically below the number of people who are driving unsafely on the UK roads. Estimates have said that around 4 million people could be driving with bad eyesight in the UK.
Julie Townsend, from the motoring organisation Brake has stated, “The government is currently considering reducing the requirements for eyesight on the UK roads and this is something we are very concerned about. Rather than reducing the requirements, the government should be increasing them and enforcing the more strictly.”
The survey conducted by Specsavers, highlighted that the vast majority of people think that people should have their eyes tested before they can drive. Currently, once you have passed the initial eye test, when taking your driving test, there are no further testing requirements. Even when you reapply for a licence when you are much older, you only have to tick a box to say that your vision is still fine.
Lee Hammond is a training directorate at Peak Performance and he has commented, “Some people are driving with dangerously bad eyesight. A driving trainer once reported to me that one man he was training was unable to read the license plate, even from half the required distance.
The fact that he was driving around on the roads is simply unsafe and we need to see the government create a policy that is going to demand people drive with glasses if necessary.”