Keep your eyesight up to spec with a regular eye test.
Having talked among ourselves about this issue only yesterday the headlines in the “Daily Telegraph” have today spurred us on to produce this blog. We have noticed that some of our older clients are unaware of the need to ensure that their eyesight is up to par when driving. We know that some are frightened that they may lose their licence and in turn their independence. That fear can be allayed, with good advice from Allegro Optical. Usually, spectacles can correct poor vision, and with frames starting at just £10 and lenses from £40 there really is very little to fear both in terms of cost and impact on lifestyle.
Recently, an 87-year-old driver failed an eye test after narrowly missing a police car when he turned the wrong way onto a main road. Officers had just left the A3 near at Ripley, in Surrey, when a Honda Jazz pulled out of a junction, forcing their vehicle to swerve out of the way. Surrey police posted dash-cam footage of the near-miss on Sunday. The incident occurred as police launched a crackdown on drivers with defective eyesight.
The Legal Requirements:-
In good daylight, you must be able to read a vehicle number plate from a distance of 20 metres (or from a distance of 20.5 metres for old style number plates).
If you want to do your own number plate test, when walking down a street or in a car park, 20 metres is about 5 car lengths.
You must also have an adequate field of vision and a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) on the Snellen scale (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary), using both eyes together or, one eye only if the driver only has sight in one eye.
If you need glasses or contact lenses to drive, you must wear them at all times when driving (see Rule 92 of the Highway Code). It is an offence not to do so, and may invalidate your motor insurance. It is a good idea to keep a spare set of glasses in the glove compartment.
For further info, see this dedicated website http://www.olderdrivers.org.uk/the-law/eyesight/
The best way to make sure that you meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving is to have an eyesight test at your opticians, every two years, or more often if the optician advises.
You are entitled to a free eye test if you are 60 years or over, or have been diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma or have been advised by an ophthalmologist that you are at risk of glaucoma. If you are 40 years or over, and have a mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter who has been diagnosed with glaucoma, you are also entitled to a free NHS sight test. You can also receive free eye tests if you receive certain social security benefits.
Any condition that affects both eyes (and the remaining eye if you only have one eye), except long and short-sightedness and colour blindness, should be reported to the DVLA (or the DVA in Northern Ireland). This does not necessarily mean you would lose your licence – an assessment of your eyesight will be made.
Eyesight can deteriorate gradually over time, and it can be difficult to realise it has fallen below the minimum standard. For instance, as we grow older our eyes become less able to react quickly to changes in light and we start to have difficulty with colours and contrasts in poor light. Between the ages of 15 and 65 years the time it takes to recover from glare increases from 2 to 9 seconds. This could be one reason why some people find driving at night more difficult.
Many police forces have now cracked down on drivers with defective eyesight, with motorists being asked to read a number plate from 20m away. Anyone who fails will have their driving licence immediately revoked. Data from these tests will be used to improve understanding of the extent of poor driver vision. These moves are supported by road safety charity Brake and by Allegro Optical.
Brake has teamed up with police forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire and West Midlands to run a month-long campaign to get a better insight into driver vision. The forces will be revoking the licenses of those who don’t pass the 20m number plate check. During September, anyone stopped by Road Policing Officers in the above areas will be required to take the 20m number plate test. Those who fail will have their licence immediately revoked. Data collected from each test and will then be used to gain an improved understanding of the extent of poor driver eyesight on our roads, which is thought to be vastly underreported in Government statistics.
Play safe and have an eye test
So, time to make sure your eyesight is up to spec!. Make an appointment today with Allegro Optical Ltd and don’t fall foul of the law. While the new routine roadside testing is initially being trailed in three southern counties as we speak we are sure it won’t be long before it comes into force nationwide.
We will help you to continue driving legally.
Allegro Optical Ltd
01484 90 70 90