Read or be revoked

In a poll conducted by Venson Automotive Solutions, a worrying 1 in 4 motorists said they were not very confident or not confident at all they would be able to read a number plate from 20m (65ft) away.

Three police forces in England have announced they are planning to test the eyesight of every motorist they stop. If the motorist can’t read a number plate 20m (65ft) away they will have their licence revoked on the spot.

In previous research conducted by Venson, 70% of motorists surveyed confirmed they had started wearing glasses or contact lenses since passing their driving test. It is however impossible for a fleet manager or business to monitor any changes to a driver’s vision, especially if they are then required to wear glasses or contact lenses for driving, unless a robust checking system is in place.

Keith Bell of The Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents explains, ‘Legally, if the driver of a car can read a newer-style number plate (2001 or later), from 20m away, with or without glasses or contact lenses for long or short-sightedness, they are classified as meeting the standards of vision for driving but must wear their glasses or contact lenses when driving if necessary to read the number plate.’