Doctor looking at eye with slit lamp

Do drivers in the UK need to take eye tests more often?

Experts suggest that parental ignorance is to blame for the increased risk of children’s sight risk. Research shows that 44% of opticians in Britain have received a patient who continues to drive in the last one month even after being informed that their vision violates the authorised standards. The revelations come from a survey performed by the Association of Optometrists (AOP). Motoring solicitors in the UK have also reported servicing many clients facing motoring offences related to poor eyesight. Poor eyesight has also been singled out as one of the major contributing factors of high-profile road clashes in the country. Pressure also continues to mount on the government to review the current vision requirement law. Under the current vision regulation, motorists are required to undergo the first number plate assessment before taking the driving test.


The drivers are also required to complete a self-declaration while renewing the licence thereafter. The implication of this law is that 17-year-olds who read number plates from 20M when they take the assessment may continue to drive without additional checks in the rest of their lives. The law is among the less effective laws in the continent and the time for change is overdue. Motorists will be required to have a robust vision check to ascertain their vision satisfy the authorised standards at the first time when they apply for a driving licence and after every 10 years thereafter. Drivers aged 70 and more may be required to undergo vision checks more often. According to the “Don’t Swerve a Sight Test,” the ultimate method to optimise eye health and road safety is reminding drivers to undergo sight assessment after every 24 months. Most certified motoring solicitors in the country have also supported the new campaign. According to the current statistics, over 2,900 road injuries each year are caused by motorists with poor vision.


The AOP also advises the UK drivers to undergo a comprehensive eye assessment to ascertain that their vision satisfies the legal standards. The vision tests should be performed once every ten years. The AOP also advised drivers aged 70 years or more to visit an optometrist regularly. Any driver fit to drive should have the ability to read the number plate from a 20M distance. If the eyesight of a driver deteriorates over time, it is the responsibility of the person to inform DVLA-Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency- that a pair of glasses is necessary for driving. Henry Leonard, a representative from AOP, points out that it is quite astonishing that several drivers have continued to ignore the importance of healthy vision.


Peter Williams, a road safety representative from RAC has also backed Leonard’s comment and advice drivers to have their sight assessed after every 24 months or anytime when they suspect changes to their sight. In Sept this year, UK traffic police officers started to perform roadside eye assessments as part of their crackdown on UK drivers whose vision violates the set legal standards. According to the Auto Express, information gathered from the tests, will help to provide more insights into the legal implications of poor eyesight. Consult licensed motoring solicitors to help you better understand Cassie Law (2013) that gives traffic cops the power to ask DVLA to revoke a driver’s licence on grounds of poor vision.