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Thousands lose driving licence because of poor sight

Friday, 4 January 2013
Thousands lose driving licence because of poor sight
Figures revealed by Transport Minister Stephen Hammond detail that nearly 6,000 licences were revoked in the UK last year, a shocking 10% higher than 2011 as a result of poor vision.

5,285 people lost licenses for cars and motorbikes, whilst 493 licences were destroyed from lorry and bus drivers.

There was a dramatic 39% increase on figures for bus and lorry drivers compared to 2011.

Speaking about the statistics Mr Hammond said: “Licensing rules have an important part to play in keeping our roads safe. We must make sure that only those who are safe to drive are allowed on our roads while at the same time avoiding placing unnecessary restrictions on people’s independence.”

Last year the RSA insurance company launched a ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign to spread awareness of the importance of 20/20 vision when driving on the roads. They released figures that showed the UK spent a massive £33 million on 2,900 casualties that could have been avoided if the driver hadn’t neglected to visit their optician or wear their contact lenses or glasses.

MP, Meg Munn a support of the ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign said: '"These figures provide information on how many drivers who have come forward and reported problems with their vision to the DVLA had their licenses revoked or refused."

"I will be continuing to seek further information to ensure that robust measures are in place to check drivers’ vision, so we can continue to improve road safety. For most people it is simply a matter of getting their eyes tested to ensure they have glasses or contact lenses if required."

Currently the law does not require citizens to undertake an eye test when a driving licence is renewed; instead it is the driver’s responsibility to go for an eye test if they feel their vision is not 100%. However, police officers are able to conduct roadside eye tests, and if the test is not passed, inform the DVLA to remove the person’s driving licence.

The ‘Fit to Drive’ campaign aims to make it mandatory for drivers to have an eye test at least every 10 years.

Posted By +Brendan O'Brien

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