More powers for police to take action against motorists with poor eyesight

March 2013

Employers and fleet managers are being warned by Specsavers Corporate Eyecare of a new system that allows an employee’s driving licence to be revoked within a matter of hours. Specsavers welcomes this announcement* that the police will be able to take immediate action against motorists who fail roadside eyetests.

Suzanne Randall, corporate account manager for Specsavers Corporate Eyecare said: ‘This is particularly relevant for employers. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states that an employer’s duty of care extends to all work activities, including driving for work purposes - even if this constitutes only an occasional short trip for a meeting. It’s very simple for employers to ensure their staff have eyesight that’s good enough for driving, and the last thing they’d want is to have staff off the road because their licence has been revoked due to poor eyesight. This is a chance for employers to put in preventative measures now.’

All drivers must be able to meet the eyesight standard for driving by reading a number plate from 20.5 metres which can be easily checked by the police at the roadside. A motorist who drives when unable to meet this standard is committing an offence and will have their licence revoked by the DVLA. Once revoked, a licence will not be returned until a driver can demonstrate that their eyesight meets the required standard.

Paul Carroll, director of professional services at Specsavers, says: ‘We fully support Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond's announcement that enables the Police to take immediate action against motorists who fail road side eye tests. We have long campaigned around the importance of drivers taking responsibility for their eye health, ensuring they have regular eye examinations and wear the correct eyewear. This decision is definitely a step in the right direction to making our roads safer.

'In 2013 we will be working with a number of governing bodies and driving organisations to push for all drivers to have regular eye examinations or, at the very least, to provide evidence of a recent eye examination when renewing their driving licence.’

Cassie’s Law
Showing the very real danger that this change hopes to address, the new system was petitioned for as ‘Cassie’s Law’ after Cassie McCord was killed by a driver who had failed a roadside eyesight check. The tragedy occurred three days after the failed test but before the DVLA had officially revoked the driver’s licence in writing.

*Further information regarding the announcement can be found at: www.dft.gov.uk/dvla/pressoffice/pressreleases/07022013.aspx

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