VSP backs call for regular driver eye tests

VSP Vision Care, the world’s largest not-for-profit vision eyecare services company with almost 90 million members worldwide, is backing a call for all drivers to have their eyes tested every ten years when they renew their driving licences, in a bid to improve road safety.

GEM Motoring Assist, the national road safety and breakdown and recovery organisation, is urging the Government to update laws to ensure a detailed eye examination is part of drivers’ photocard licence renewal process, which takes place every 10 years.

The organisation said that more than 3,000 fatal and serious injury collisions occur each year because of poor vision.

Jeremy Chadwick, Managing Director, EMEA at VSP Vision Care, said that regular eye tests for drivers made ‘complete sense’ and noted additionally that employers must be mindful of regular eye exams to ensure that their employees who drive for work meet standards for safe driving.

“We believe regular eye tests for drivers, be they every 10 years or indeed more frequently, are essential. Eyesight can deteriorate without us noticing, so we recommend having a professional eye test, ideally annually, or straight away if a problem arises. This should check vision over distance, as well as other visual defects, including problems seeing things in the central or peripheral vision.

“Though current law does not define mandatory guidelines for drivers in the workplace, employers must consider regular eye screening and full eye examinations for employees, with access to glasses if they need them for driving.  VSP offers comprehensive solutions for driving vision through our portfolio of WellVision Plans,” he added.

Failure to wear corrective lenses while driving is an offence, leaving drivers to face fines of up to a £1,000 plus three penalty points and/or discretionary disqualification.

Drivers who do not meet the standards of vision for driving and are involved in an accident invalidate their insurance and could face imprisonment for up to 14 years if they cause death by dangerous driving and five years for death by careless driving.

To meet the standards of vision for driving, drivers must be able to read, with glasses or contact lenses if necessary, a number plate from 20 metres away, along with other visual acuity and field-of-vision guidelines.

For more information on employer vision programmes please contact: Suzanne Randall, Market Director UK and Ireland, +44 7720 243468 or email suzanne.randall@vsp.com