• Average of 134 motorists a week have licences taken away due bad vision
  • Some 19,644 drivers had licences revoked between Jan 2017 and Sep 2019
  • Drivers can be fined £1,000 if they don’t inform the DVLA about poor eyesight
  • Direct Line surveyed motorists to find out which areas have neglected eye tests most commonly 

An average of 134 motorists each week have their driving licences revoked by authorities because they can’t see well enough to be behind the wheel.

There were 19,644 drivers who had their licence taken away from them because of inadequate eyesight between January 2017 and September 2019, new figures from the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency show.

Insurer Direct Line, which requested the stats from the DLVA, has suggested which locations might have the most drivers with inadequate vision by listing which major towns and cities have the highest percentage of motorists that haven’t had their eyes tested in the last two years.

Incredibly, three per cent of motorists polled said they have never had an eye examination.

Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 if they don’t inform the DVLA about a medical condition that affects their driving and could be prosecuted if involved in a collision as a result. 

Cities with highest percentage of drivers that haven’t had an eye test for over 2 years 

1. Brighton: 33%

=2. Glasgow: 30%

=2. Leeds: 30%

=4. Birmingham: 29%

=4. Bristol: 29%

6. Newcastle: 28%

7. Plymouth: 27%

=8. Edinburgh: 26%

=8. Liverpool: 26%

10. Southampton: 25%

11. Norwich: 23%

=12. Manchester: 21%

=12. London: 21%

=12. Sheffield: 21%

15. Belfast: 18%

16. Nottingham: 15%

17. Cardiff: 13%

Source: Direct Line survey of 2,000 drivers 

Eye care professionals believe there should be stricter rules regarding eye check-ups, with 81 per cent of optometrists supporting a change in law so annual eye tests are made mandatory for drivers. 

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: ‘If people do not have regular eye tests, they may not even realise their vision is impaired when they get behind the wheel, which leaves them a danger to themselves and other road users.

‘A simple eye test, that takes a moment in time, can ensure drivers have the appropriate corrective glasses or contact lenses so that their vision is adequate to drive.’

Dr Nigel Best, clinical spokesperson for Specsavers added: ‘Our vision can deteriorate slowly, meaning it is sometimes difficult to detect a change ourselves but subtle variations can increasingly affect both perception and reaction time when driving. 

‘We welcome this research and hope it will make more road users aware of the risks they run by not having regular eye tests, whether it is potentially losing your driving license or worse, causing a collision on the road.’ 

Direct Line’s poll of motorists found that drivers in Brighton are the least likely across the UK to regularly visit the optician, with a third of people failing to have an eye test in the last two years. 

Residents of Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds are also risking driving without the right corrective lenses because they have failed to have their eyes tested in the last two years, the figures claim. 

Ian McIntosh, chief executive at RED Driving School, said it is ‘vital’ that police forces tackle the issue of poor eyesight on the road.  

He told This is Money: ‘Having a reduced ability to react to hazards and assess surroundings on the road is dangerous for all road users, and it’s important that there is a focus on this across all ages and experiences of driver – not just newly qualified ones.

‘Regular eye tests can not only safeguard your sight, but your driving licence too.’

Article courtesy of This is Money.

Incredibly, three per cent of motorists polled said they have never had an eye examination.

Drivers can be fined up to £1,000 if they don’t inform the DVLA about a medical condition that affects their driving and could be prosecuted if involved in a collision as a result. 

Cities with highest percentage of drivers that haven’t had an eye test for over 2 years 

1. Brighton: 33%

=2. Glasgow: 30%

=2. Leeds: 30%

=4. Birmingham: 29%

=4. Bristol: 29%

6. Newcastle: 28%

7. Plymouth: 27%

=8. Edinburgh: 26%

=8. Liverpool: 26%

10. Southampton: 25%

11. Norwich: 23%

=12. Manchester: 21%

=12. London: 21%

=12. Sheffield: 21%

15. Belfast: 18%

16. Nottingham: 15%

17. Cardiff: 13%

Source: Direct Line survey of 2,000 drivers 

Eye care professionals believe there should be stricter rules regarding eye check-ups, with 81 per cent of optometrists supporting a change in law so annual eye tests are made mandatory for drivers. 

Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at Direct Line, said: ‘If people do not have regular eye tests, they may not even realise their vision is impaired when they get behind the wheel, which leaves them a danger to themselves and other road users.

‘A simple eye test, that takes a moment in time, can ensure drivers have the appropriate corrective glasses or contact lenses so that their vision is adequate to drive.’

Dr Nigel Best, clinical spokesperson for Specsavers added: ‘Our vision can deteriorate slowly, meaning it is sometimes difficult to detect a change ourselves but subtle variations can increasingly affect both perception and reaction time when driving. 

‘We welcome this research and hope it will make more road users aware of the risks they run by not having regular eye tests, whether it is potentially losing your driving license or worse, causing a collision on the road.’ 

Direct Line’s poll of motorists found that drivers in Brighton are the least likely across the UK to regularly visit the optician, with a third of people failing to have an eye test in the last two years. 

Residents of Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds are also risking driving without the right corrective lenses because they have failed to have their eyes tested in the last two years, the figures claim. 

Ian McIntosh, chief executive at RED Driving School, said it is ‘vital’ that police forces tackle the issue of poor eyesight on the road.  

He told This is Money: ‘Having a reduced ability to react to hazards and assess surroundings on the road is dangerous for all road users, and it’s important that there is a focus on this across all ages and experiences of driver – not just newly qualified ones.

‘Regular eye tests can not only safeguard your sight, but your driving licence too.’

Article courtesy of This is Money.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/cars/article-7881677/Over-7-000-motorists-year-driving-licence-revoked-poor-eyesight.html

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