Specsavers Downpatrick has partnered with young driver initiative, New Driver NI, to roll out an advice and information programme to local students in Years 13 and 14.

New Driver NI provides practical tips and information for both learners and those who have recently passed their test to help them stay safe on the roads.

The scheme, supported by Specsavers stores throughout Northern Ireland, and led by New Driver NI Manager Stephen Savage, engages directly with young people by delivering drive safe presentations at schools as well as offering online content.

Eyesight can deteriorate slowly

Specsavers Downpatrick optometrist Kevin Carlisle visited Down High school to remind young drivers of the importance of having regular eye tests to ensure safe driving.

He said: ‘Your eyesight can deteriorate very slowly meaning you might not even notice when is falls below the standard required for driving. That’s why it’s so important to have an eye test every two years, or sooner, if you notice a change in your vision. 

‘The only time a motorist’s eyesight is tested is during their driving test. The current system relies on drivers to self-test and keep up-to-date with their eye examinations, which not everyone does. The law also states that certain eye conditions including cataracts and glaucoma must be reported to the DVLA.’

Invaluable advice and information

New Driver NI Manager Stephen Savage said: ‘Without Specsavers’ financial support we simply could not reach the number of students and potential new drivers at local schools and colleges. 

‘Driving safely has never been more important and we aim to provide our young people and their parents with essential, invaluable and useful advice and information to help new drivers be sensible and proficient now and in the future.

‘With Specsavers as our partner we also aim to drive home the link between good vision and safe driving.’

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