GEM members support eye testing

GEM Motoring Assist said three quarters of its members back long-overdue changes to driver eyesight regulations.

A survey of more than 2,500 GEM members reveals that 75% support mandatory eye testing for anyone returning to driving following a court ban or medical revocation, with 71% also in favour of requiring a current eye test certificate to be provided at the time of renewing a photocard licence.

DVLA figures indicate that nearly 50,000 motorists had their licence revoked or refused between 2012 and 2016 due to poor vision. A 2014 study by the road safety pressure group, Brake, showed that 1.5 million UK motorists had never had their eyes tested.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth commented, ‘If you can’t see properly, you shouldn’t be driving. Poor eyesight is linked to more than 3,000 casualties every year. We are worried that there are just too many people driving whose eyesight has deteriorated to an unacceptable level.

“We believe it is entirely practical and sensible to require a test of visual acuity and field of view every 10 years, something that would fit in with licence renewal. Tests of this kind would not only make our roads safer, saving lives, disability and many millions of pounds through the reduction in the number of crashes, but they would also play a vital role valuable tool in the early diagnosis of many other costly medical conditions, irrespective of driving.’