Monday, 5 November 2012
2,900 casualties occur as a result of drivers taking to the roads with poor eyesight, costing the UK around £33m a year.
The RSA are keen to raise awareness of the dangers of driving without perfect vision through their ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign unveiled this week at a parliamentary event in Westminster.
They also called for three changes to be made to the UK driving laws. The first was asking for the current number plate test to be abolished as it does not provide an accurate assessment of someone’s vision. The second, that every learner driver should have their eyes tested before applying for a provisional licence, and the third that eye tests become mandatory for people with driving licences, ensuring their eyes are tested at least every 10 years. Preferably the RSA would like everyone to attend an eye test every two years as recommended by the NHS.
MPs that have already signed the pledge to support the RSA ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign include Heather Wheeler, Meg Munn, John Leech and Jim Fitzpatrick.
The changes suggested by the RSA to ensure that drivers undertake regular sight tests could save the UK economy an estimated £14.4m by the tenth year of the regulations being in operation. Results are also predicted to be evident after the first year.
Adrian Brown, RSA UK and Western Europe chief executive, said: "The report's figures speak for themselves. If we simply make an eye test mandatory when getting your first driving licence and when renewing every 10 years we will save lives and reduce the strain on public finances.”
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, the road safety charity, also spoke out on the importance of the RSA’s campaign: “Being able to see clearly what's in front and around you is fundamental to safe and responsible driving. That's why we urge drivers to have an eye test at least every two years, even if you think your sight is fine.”
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