‘Do not wait’: Elderly motorists urged to have eyesight tested to avoid ‘reckless driving’

Motoring: Police introduce roadside eyesight tests for UK drivers

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Almost half of drivers didn’t realise it was illegal to drive without their prescribed distance or contact lenses, with one in four admitting having done this. According to the new data from the College of Optometrists, 36 percent of drivers said they had simply forgotten.

A further 20 percent said they found them uncomfortable, and one-in-seven don’t want to admit that they need to wear glasses.

Drivers with eye conditions must tell the DVLA as soon as possible.

If an eye condition affects both eyes, or if drivers only have sight in one eye, the DVLA must be informed.

Motorists can be fined up to £1,000 if they do not tell the DVLA about a medical condition that affects their driving.

They may also be prosecuted if they are involved in an accident as a result.

This affects eye conditions including cataracts, short and long sightedness known as myopia and hyperopia and glaucoma.

Elderly drivers are also at risk of fines and other punishments as a number of conditions including presbyopia, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMG) can all get worse with old age.

If left untreated, these conditions can all cause major issues for drivers, obstructing their vision and creating hazardous situations for themselves, other drivers and pedestrians.

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Dr Paramdeep Bilkhu MCOptom, Clinical Advisor at The College of Optometrists commented on the need for drivers to get their eyes checked regularly.

He said: “At the College we want to strongly urge drivers to wear their spectacles or contact lenses if they have been prescribed for driving.

“Driving without them, no matter how well you think you can see, is reckless and can put yourself and others in danger.

“Optometrists will never prescribe glasses or contact lenses if you don’t need them, so refusing to wear them when recommended really is putting other road users at risk.

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