• Do we need stricter eye tests for drivers?
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Do we need stricter eye tests for drivers?

When was the last time you had an eye test? And can you remember the eye test element of the driving test you took all those years ago? For most people it was a case of trying to read a car number plate across a car park at a set distance. As we get older, our eyesight deteriorates - it's a sad fact of life, but one that seems to have passed the motoring authorities by. Here at Big Motoring World we were struck by a recent call for stricter eye test regulation for drivers from a major UK road safety organisation. It's a recommendation that we certainly agree with here.

Time for change

Impaired vision has been singled out by GEM Motoring Assist as a huge area of concern, and they've highlighted the fact that failing to see dangers on the road causes far more accidents than other issues such as drink driving. One of their road safety officers, Neil Worth explains. “Speeding, drink or drug driving, driving unlicensed… these are responsible for a fraction of the crashes on our roads compared with failing to look properly, according to all the official data. Yet our current testing regime is crude and out dated.” GEM Motoring Assist have called for changes in the driving regulations - it's been a good 80 or so years since the last time the rules were looked at property, and the UK's roads are certainly very different to what they were in the 1930s. They're asking the government to consider introducing a more rigorous system of testing, that would require drivers to have regular, mandatory eyesight tests.

Regular testing

“We believe that all drivers should ensure they have an eye test every two years, just to ensure there are no safety concerns about their vision and to deal with any issues at an early stage," says Neil. "We would also like to see every new driver producing evidence of a recent eye test when first applying for a licence, with a mandatory test every 10 years in line with licence renewal. The current driver eyesight test has not been fit for purpose for a long time, and we believe it is simply no longer acceptable for drivers to self-certify." We couldn't agree more - and we hope to see the proposed changes come into law as soon as possible.