Is your vision roadworthy?
Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership is supporting a national road safety eyesight campaign to highlight that all drivers have a legal obligation to ensure their vision is roadworthy every time they get behind the wheel.
As part of the ‘Is Your Vision Roadworthy?’ initiative, which is being supported by a host of motoring, road safety and optical organisations, Warwickshire Police will be conducting roadside vision screening across the county.
Sergeant Shaun Bridle of Warwickshire Police said: “Most drivers know that worn or defective tyres on their vehicle can result in a fine and penalty points, but they are less likely to realise that driving with uncorrected defective eyesight is punishable with a fine of up to £1,000, three penalty points and possible disqualification and also can increase your risk of a collision occurring.
“Ninety per cent of the information a driver uses is visual,” Sergeant Bridle added, “so we want to use the roadside screening to raise awareness of the fundamental importance of good eyesight. Drivers who fail to meet the required standards are not only breaking the law but putting themselves and other road users at risk.”
The voluntary roadside vision screening will ask drivers to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres. All tests will be conducted in good daylight conditions, using a registration plate affixed to a vehicle at the correct measured distance (20m), with the driver wearing any eyesight correction (eg: spectacles) worn at the time of driving.
Under legislation known as Cassie’s Law, drivers who fail a roadside number plate test could have their licence revoked on the spot if a police officer deems them to be unsafe to be on the road. Other penalties for not meeting the legal eyesight standards include a possible fine or penalty points on your licence.
In addition to the 20m number plate test the legal eyesight standards require motorists to have adequate fields of vision. The DVLA must also be notified about certain eyesight conditions. There are different standards for bus and lorry drivers (Group 2).
Full details of the legal eyesight standards for all motorists can be found at gov.uk/driving-eyesight-rules.
Vision can decline gradually without you realising, so eye experts recommend all motorists have regular sight tests – every two years unless advised otherwise by your optometrist – to help ensure your vision remains roadworthy.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Chair of WRSP Philip Seccombe said “Visual impairments can affect anyone. If you have a concern, please speak to your optician as soon as possible. Eyesight can decline with age and whilst there is no legal age to stop driving, the partnership wants to support mature drivers to make informed decisions and continue to drive safely. That’s why we are offering free Mature Driver Reviews in collaboration with IAM RoadSmart for drivers aged 65+ residing in Warwickshire. Our aim is to help drivers continue to drive for as long as it is safe to do so by providing an informed and trusted opinion on their driving, improving skills and reassuring family members.”
Chief Constable Jo Shiner, National Police Chief Constable Lead Roads Policing comments: “Personal responsibility is the starting point for safer roads. Making sure your eyesight meets the standards of vision for driving is really important and something only you can do to keep yourself and all other road users safe while driving.”
Results from the roadside vision screening activity will be released later this Spring along with a wide-ranging public information campaign highlighting the importance of clear vision for safe driving.
Anyone wanting to know more about the legal eyesight standards for motorists or has a question about vision and driving is invited to attend an Is Your Vision Roadworthy? webinar at 2pm on 14 March 2023. To register for this free event, which is hosted by TV and radio presenter Valerie Singleton OBE, visit VisionAndDriving.info Please note places are limited to the first 1000 applicants.
For further information about the Is Your Vision Roadworthy? campaign contact:
Rachel Robson, Tel: 07986 056380, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The campaign is being supported by: Association of Optometrists, BRAKE, Central Optical Fund, College of Optometrists, DVLA, Driving Mobility, Eye Health UK, Federation of Ophthalmic & Dispensing Opticians, GEM Motoring Assist, IAM Road Smart, National Highways, NPCC, Older Drivers Forum, RAC Foundation, Road Safety GB, THINK! (covering DfT).
Officers can request an urgent revocation of a licence through the DVLA if they believe the safety of other road users will be put at risk if a driver remains on the road. The power was introduced in 2013 under Cassie’s Law, named after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, who died when an 87-year-old man lost control of his vehicle in Colchester, Essex. It later emerged he had failed a police eyesight test days earlier, but a legal loophole meant he was allowed to continue driving.
Those over 65 years old who reside in Warwickshire can book a free Mature Driver Review by calling 0300 303 1134 and quoting `WCC` or visit www.iamroadsmart.com