Here at eCars247 we like to keep our eyes on the road. Recently, there has been a timely reminder to ensure that we all do. To meet the ‘standards of vision for driving’ you must have good eyesight or wear glasses or lenses to make it so. That’s the law and drivers need to be able to read a number plate at 20 metres, a rule that has been around, like, forever. Perhaps one day autonomous cars will do our automotive seeing for us but in the meantime, better keep ‘em peeled.
A Risky Five Percent
It’s worth mentioning this because a recent police report indicates that 5% of drivers can’t achieve this minor visionary feat. We learn that between 1st March and 20th August this year, West Midlands Police checked the vision of 81 motorists as part of Operation ‘Close Pass’, a campaign to protect cyclists from dangerous overtakes. Leaving aside the issue for now that overtaking cyclists safely also requires from those very people a certain level of cycling proficiency, apparently four of those checked could not read a car registration to the required standard.
That’s not good. It is also something else that highlights the lowering of driving standards generally. Increasingly and worryingly, there exists in the UK a number of drivers who basically could not care less about the rules of the road, largely because the chances of getting caught are pretty slim.
This eyesight check is a mandatory part of the driving test. We pass the test and immediately go out and investigate new or used cars yet there is no provision for any further testing thereafter. Certainly, there have been calls for drivers to be re-tested at 70 (Although it would probably be better if they were stationary! That’s a joke. Never mind.) but the state of and congestion of our roads today suggests that eye tests should perhaps be more frequent. This is because failing eyesight is something that creeps up on people. Over time an individual might find themselves having to peer more closely at a book or TV screen but it doesn’t dawn on them that there might be a reason for this.
Many drivers seem to be unaware that since 2013, the police have had the power to request a licence be immediately revoked if impaired vision is found. This was as a response to the death of sixteen year old Cassie McCord in 2011. The aged driver had already been pulled for poor eyesight yet apparently refused to quit when warned. This tragedy resulted in this legislation which many may have forgotten over time.
This is a something that we, as drivers, can do from time to time to improve our driving without it costing any money at all. Using your eyes is free and it is the work of a moment to judge a 20m distance, and even add a bit, and read a car number plate. Try it when out walking or parking. If you’re not sure that your ‘baby blues’ are working at 20/20 vision or better then maybe it’s time to take an eyesight test. After all, for many of us, driving is one the great pleasures of life and one thing is for sure, buying your next motor from eCars247 won’t strain your eyes because all our vehicles are AA checked for your peace of mind.