Saturday 23 March 2013

Driving vision standard changes published

Changes to the minimum eye sight standards for driving in the UK have been confirmed by the Department for Transport following a public consultation. 
However, the Optical Confederation has expressed concerns about the ability to implement and enforce these changes, and is urging the Department for Transport and the DVLA to give this more thought.  
The changes to vision standards for all drivers include: reading a number plate from 20 metres and having a binocular visual acuity of 6/12 (0.5), with corrective lenses if required. Other stipulations state that if a driver has been advised by their doctor or optometrist that they cannot meet the required 6/12 with corrective lenses they must inform the DVLA, and that individuals are still not permitted to use telescope devices when driving. 
The consultation concerned proposals which closed in April 2011 and apply to car, motorcycle, lorry and bus drivers. 
The changes follow a recent joint call by the Optical Confederation, the Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) and Brake, to revisit eye sight testing standards legislation for new drivers.  
Speaking on behalf of the Optical Confederation, Mark Nevin (pictured) said: “Whilst it is helpful to know that the changes to drivers’ vision requirements have been proposed in regulations, we continue to raise concerns in Parliament about their implementation and enforcement, and hope that the Department for Transport and DVLA will give this further consideration. In particular, we feel that all drivers would benefit from regular reminders that it is their responsibility to meet the visual standards every time they drive.” 

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