Road safety company GEM Motoring Assist has called on the Government to introduce eyesight tests every 10 years.
It said the current process is “long out of date and not fit for purpose” adding a detailed eye examination should be formed part of the driver photocard licence renewal process, every 10 years.
“If you can’t see properly, you shouldn’t be driving,” said GEM road safety officer Neil Worth. “Poor eyesight is linked to more than 3,000 fatal and serious injury collisions 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.”
The firm added mandatory eyesight tests for drivers is now “even more important”, as many more people are staying behind the wheel into their 80s and beyond.
“There are many benefits for a driver to staying mobile as long as possible,” Worth added. “However, safety must remain the number one priority for everyone. We also cannot ignore the greater volume of traffic and the general increase in distractions, both inside and outside the vehicle, which further point to the clear need for more regular and detailed eyesight testing.”