Legislation vital for employee safety on the roads

December 2012

Unexpected research results have revealed just how vital it is for new legislation to be passed to make employees safe on the roads. Specsavers Corporate Eyecare was staggered to discover that among more than 200 employers surveyed (representing up to 356,611 employees), not one employer thought that it would raise the priority of eyecare in their organisation if an employee had an accident and it was found their eyesight was not good enough to drive without corrected vision (wearing glasses or contact lenses).

Even if a corporate manslaughter charge was upheld against an organisation because an employee had driven with poor eyesight and caused a fatal accident, not one employer thought this would raise the priority of eyecare within their organisation.

Laura Butler, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, says: ‘Our research shows just how crucial it is for legislation to be implemented to ensure drivers have regular vision checks. This is something Specsavers has been calling for over many years. If employers are not likely to be spurred into action even by a fatality or legal action, then legislation must be put in place.’

The figures support this principle with more than half (58%) of employers believing legislation would be necessary in order to raise the priority of eyecare, even within their own company. The next most important factor to raise the priority of eyecare would be a greater understanding of eyesight requirements specifically relevant to driving. More than a third (36%) said this would be important and more than a quarter (26%) pointed to a greater understanding of the relationship between driving and eyesight.

For nearly a quarter of respondents it is a monetary matter, with 24% of employers saying they would need to discover that providing eyecare to their drivers cost less than they expected, in order for eyecare to move up their agenda.

Laura Butler continues: ‘The irony is that previous research has shown us that corporate eyecare does cost a great deal less than employers expect. It is time to cut the excuses and start putting far more emphasis on the importance of drivers actually being able to see clearly.’

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