A detailed test on a regular basis would make roads in Britain safer
According to GEM Motoring Assist, regular eye tests should be introduced in the UK for all drivers, to make our roads safer for everyone.
The UK-based road safety and breakdown recovery organisation believe that a detailed test carried out on a regular basis would reduce the number of collisions and help make our roads much safer.
Currently, the only eyesight test a new driver has to undergo is when you actually take your practical test and the instructor asks you to read a number plate from 20 metres away.
GEM think that a detailed eye test should be mandatory every 10 years – where the driver’s visual acuity (VA) and field of view is checked thoroughly.
The road safety organisation carried out a survey, asking 1,000 of their members about the subject, and a staggering 87% said that mandatory eye testing on a regular basis would make Britain’s roads safer.
“If you can’t see effectively, you shouldn’t be driving, but the truth is that there are many drivers whose eyesight has deteriorated to very dangerous levels,” said Neil Worth, GEM’s road safety officer.
What GEM would really like introduced is a compulsory eye test for all drivers every two years, especially for those aged 40 and over, but in reality, the most practical measure would be a test every 10 years of a driver’s visual acuity and field of view.
This measure would coincide with a driver’s licence renewal, which also occurs every 10 years, making it an ideal solution and one that should be easy to implement.
According to GEM, guidelines given out by DVLA to medical professionals claim that a person’s eyesight can deteriorate gradually without them really noticing – up to 40% of a person’s visual acuity can be lost without any awareness of the fact.
The road safety company believe that by making eyesight tests for drivers mandatory and taken on a regular basis, the number of collisions on our roads caused by poor vision could be reduced drastically.
The introduction of regular mandatory eyesight tests could help save lives, reduce the number of accidents and save millions of pounds due to fewer crashes on our roads.
“They are also a valuable tool for the early diagnosis of many other costly medical conditions, irrespective of driving,” said Mr Worth.
He also added that it was time to accept the fact that the current eyesight test for drivers is no longer fit for purpose and self-certifying should not be an option moving forward.
With many more people continuing to drive into old age, along with a greater volume of traffic on the roads and more distractions, there seems to be a real need for a better and more detailed eyesight test structure to be put in place, where all motorists are tested on a regular basis.
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