posted 6 years ago

Motorists With Bad Eyesight Lose Licences Quicker

New Rules Make It Easier To Revoke Licences

Motorists with bad eyesight could now have their licences revoked within hours, rather than days. The Police – if they are concerned by someone's driving – can ask them to take an on-the-spot sight test. This involves reading a registration plate from twenty metres. If the motorist fails the Police will then inform the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency who could withdraw the licence. However, until recently this took days as the paperwork went through the post. The motorist could therefore continue to drive in the short term despite not being able to see properly. Now, however, the process can be completed by e-mail so the licence could be revoked within hours. It is hoped this will reduce accidents.

Jackie McCord's sixteen year-old daughter was killed by a motorist with poor eyesight and she played a pivotal role in bringing this change to fruition. She therefore organised a petition that totalled 45,000 names by the time it was presented to the government. According to The Telegraph, her daughter Cassie was hit by a car driven by an old man who had recently failed an on-the-spot sight test following a minor collision at a petrol station. However - as this was before the e-mail system that could have revoked his licence that day - the pensioner was legally entitled to continue driving in the short term.

Government Comments On New Driving Licence Rules

Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond, said: "We have every sympathy with Mrs McCord and would like to thank her for her valuable work in raising awareness of this issue. The DVLA and the police have worked closely to greatly streamline the process for revoking a licence when the police identify that a driver's eyesight is inadequate. The decision whether to revoke a driving licence on medical grounds remains with the DVLA, though the process for informing drivers that their licence has been revoked has now been accelerated."

Minimum Standard of Eyesight For Motorists

Motorists should have their eyesight tested regularly by professionals to ensure they are safe to drive. The minimum standard – as defined by The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency - is that motorists must be able to read registration plates produced from September 1st 2001 from twenty metres. Furthermore, they must satisfy a minimum standard on the Snellen Scale which is a chart containing several rows of letters that range from large to small. Drivers must also have an adequate field of vision which can be measured in degrees. This criteria can be met with the naked eye or courtesy of glasses/contact lenses.

This story perhaps isn't clear. The pensioner assuming they are over 70 would have been subject to routine medical review anyway and in this case the police had already tested the pensioner earlier that day and found their sight was defective and presumably therefore told them not to drive. I’m short sighted and wear glasses for driving and I know when I haven’t got them on that I shouldn’t drive although I guess if the change in sight was gradual you could argue they may have been aware but this doesn’t cover as they had been tested and told they where unfit. At that point they where unfit to drive and where not legally allowed to do so and the statement in the article that they where allowed legally to continue to drive is surely wrong in the same way someone who had been to the pub and drunk 4 pints and been brutalized should know they are unfit 30 minutes later. The fact they still had a paper license because the paperwork was delayed by the process is irrelevant really as it doesn’t make it legal for the driver to drive and they would have known that. The driver shouldn't have driven as they had been stopped and told that by the police and yet had continued to drive so would the change in process to send the paperwork electronically and revoke their license quicker have made any difference or would the pensioner just have driven anyway. This is very sad for the family and a tragedy but all too common now days with plenty of disqualified, drunk, uninsured and unfit drivers on the road and yes I would put the pensioner in question in that category here. Whilst I fully support the process change and it should actually save money and increase efficiency which is all too often lacking at the DVLA in my experience I’m struggling to see here from this story how e-mailing the paperwork after the driver had already been told they where unfit and therefore revoking their license on the DVLA computer would have made a difference on it’s own in isolation. Whatever your view we aren’t talking about random sight tests or any real change to the current testing enforcement powers are we or have I got it wrong?

Well i feel these dont go far enough....Firstly to obtain a hgv or pcv you have to undergo a medical!! But not so for a ordinary car licence...WHY??? OK so few stupid comments have appeared,but Yes if after an accident and the drivers eyesight isn't upto scratch then revoke their licence..about time!!

Well it would seem that the police are getting too much power soon we who drive will not even be able to turn on the radio or play any kind of music without this being in breach of the law, so how about the police doing something good like catch the real bad guys and cut us motorists some slack or do they just want everybody off the road all together?

What this piece fails to make abundantly clear is that it is those with eye defects with uncorrected vision i.e. glasses that are potentially breaking the law. If your vision is at all suspect, then get your eyes tested by a reputable optician, and there are still a few out there,who aren't.

It does not matter what the age of the driver if you can not see to the legal reqiurements then you shouldnt be driving pure and simple it is not anything to do with age.

Brilliant idea if you ask me. This isn't a dig at older drivers at all, I've never been allowed to legally drive without glasses even at age 17 when I passed my test. If you are honest on the application forms it does actually show on your license that you need glasses. Just need to introduce some kind of link between Opticians and the DVLA to enforce it properly.

Why not go the whole hog and introduce a dexterity test? I hear of so many accidents caused by the driver applying the wrong pedal!

Is it the older driver that tailgates the driver in front. My experience is it is the mother with a car full of kids. Also is it the older driver who drives with a mobile phone in his ear? I think not, Why don't the police enforce the present laws, not try to increase their POWERS

why pick on the old all the time.THE UNDER TWENTY FIVES ARE THE WORST DRIVERS.It seems one person was killed so all old pay the price.Also it has been proved time and time again that the older drivers are the best.If that had been a fifty year old that this happened to would the same apply, NO NOT ON YOUR LIFE just pick on the oldies (easy touch)and the woman who is responsible for this is a disgrace.

Revoking a driving licence doesn't stop a persistent offender from driving. Therefore revoking a licence will not automatically reduce accidents these days. How many people are driving without insurance and mot's, let alone a driving licence? We need law enforcement not bureaucracy.

As a seasoned keen short-sighted driver I totally agree with this change. Living in a area with a high proportion of retired folk the number of near misses is horrific. Even worse is they seem not to realise they had a near miss. It's almost wilfull blindness and lets hope the police widely publicise their new powers. Meanwhile I'll keep my eyes wide open!

About time too! But where is the requirement for a driver to produce such an eye test certificate before / during acquisition of a driving licence? Even at 70+ years of age, when a drivers licence is renewable every 3 years there is no requirement to produce any medical evidence as to the applicant's ability to drive. Must we wait for an RTC (not an "accident" ) to occur first?