Motoring: Police introduce roadside eyesight tests for UK drivers
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Current DVLA laws state that drivers must be able to read a car number plate made after September 1, 2002, from 20 metres away, using glasses or contact lenses if necessary. If a driver’s eyesight falls below the minimum standard and they fail to inform the DVLA, they can be fined up to £1,000.
With this, if an accident occurs, road users may also be prosecuted, with the police having the power to immediately revoke a driving licence if a motorist fails a police roadside eye test.
They must also meet the minimum eyesight standard for driving by having a visual acuity of at least decimal 0.5 (6/12) measured on the Snellen scale.
There are additional eyesight laws for lorry and bus drivers including ensuring they have an accurate field of vision.
At the start of driving tests, motorists need to correctly read a number plate on a parked vehicle.
If they cannot accurately read the plate, they will fail their driving test, the DVLA will be told and their licence will be revoked.
In the event that a driver has failed their test for this reason, the DVLA will ask them to have an eyesight test with the DVSA.
This will be at a driving test centre and if successful, drivers will still have to pass their DVSA standard eyesight test at their next practical driving test.
Drivers who are long sighted, short sighted or colour blind do not need to inform the DVLA of this.
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The same applies for any motorists who have had surgery to correct short sightedness and can meet the eyesight standards.
Sharon Copeland, an expert optician at Feel Good Contacts, said: “Poor eyesight and driving is one of the most dangerous combinations when it comes to road safety.
“It’s essential to take regular care of your vision if you drive, not just for your own safety, but for the safety of others.
“The minimum legal standard is that drivers must be able to read a standard number plate licence from 20 metres away, which is approximately the length of five cars.
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