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Drivers will lose licence if they fail roadside eye test

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Tags: regulations, driving licence, motoring laws

Police car

UK motorists face having their driving licence immediately revoked if they fail a simple roadside eye-test.

In a crackdown on poor eyesight endangering all road users, police forces will start testing drivers’ vision to make sure they can read a number plate from 20 metres.

The move will see every driver stopped asked to undergo the simple test, with a failure potentially leading to loss of licence.

The scheme is being introduced by the Thames Valley, Hampshire, and West Midlands police forces, with officers carrying out checks “at every opportunity.”

Poor eyesight

Under current law, drivers are only required to perform an eye-test during the practical part of their driving test, when learners must read a number plate from 20 metres.

Officers can request an urgent removal of a licence by going through the DVLA if they believe of the safety of other road users is under threat due to a driver’s poor eyesight.

This power was introduced back in 2013 under Cassie’s Law, which is named after 16-year-old Cassie McCord who was killed by an 87-year-old motorist with impaired vision.

Sergeant Rob Heard, speaking on behalf of the three forces involved in the scheme, said: “Not being able to see a hazard or react to a situation quickly enough can have catastrophic consequences.”

Mandatory eye-tests

The campaign is supported by road safety charity Brake and opticians Vision Express, who are leading calls for the introduction of mandatory eye-tests when drivers renew their licences every 10 years.

Joshua Harris, Brake’s Director of Campaigns, said: “It is frankly madness that there is no mandatory requirement on drivers to have an eye test throughout the course of their driving life.

“Only by introducing rigorous and professional eye tests can we fully tackle the problem of unsafe drivers on our roads.”