The only mandatory examination of a driver’s vision takes place when they take their practical test. However now, every motorist stopped by police officers from three forces in September will be required to read a number plate from 20m away and failing to do so will result in their license immediately being revoked. The data collated from the police crackdown on driver’s vision will be used to improve our understanding of the extent of poor driver vision.
Police crackdown on driver’s vision
Police officers are legally allowed to request an urgent revocation of a licence through the DVLA if they believe the safety of other road users will be put at risk if a driver remains on the road.
This power to revoke licences was introduced in 2013 under Cassie’s Law, named after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, who died when an 87-year-old man lost control of his vehicle in Colchester, Essex. As part of the investigation into Cassie’s death, it emerged that the driver had failed a police eyesight test days earlier but was able to continue driving due to a legal loophole.
The three forces running the police crackdown are Tames Valley, West Midlands and Hampshire. The announcement of the crackdown came after an 87-year-old driver from Woking failed an eye test after narrowly missing a police car when he turned the wrong way onto a main road.
The police crackdown is supported by the road safety charity ‘Brake’ and the director of campaigns for the charity, Joshua Harris stated:
“It is frankly madness that there is no mandatory requirement on drivers to have an eye test throughout the course of their driving life. Only by introducing rigorous and professional eye tests can we fully tackle the problem of unsafe drivers on our roads.”
The charity, ‘Brake’ are calling for a change in the law. The change being that everybody must have a mandatory eye test every 10 years at the same time as when you are required to renew your driving license.
Are your employees driving legally?
If this crackdown is rolled out nationally and the law does change, ensuring your employees’ eyesight measures up to the legal requirement will be a crucial requirement. To help with the implementation of procedures and processes, Safety Media offer a range of integrated health and safety software solutions, one which is particularly pertinent is our Document Management tool. This gives you the ability to manage and distribute secure documents, such as your organisations driving policy, with ease.
As an extra precaution, risk assessments on company vehicles should be carried out, ideally before every journey. Our online Audit checklist tool can help you create risk assessments and if for example, you were to discover a broken light bulb when assessing the vehicle, this would result in a fail status and require additional information for rectification purposes. This ensures that vehicles are only driven when they have passed the assessment and are legally allowed.
Here at Safety Media, we recognise the importance of health and safety and the courses we offer can help ensure your employees are safe. One of the courses available as part of the Safety Media open license is our ‘Driving Safety’ e-Learning course. This course can help employees appreciate the benefits of preparing for their journey ensuring the vehicle is checked regularly, and how using a common-sense approach on their journey will help them reach their destination safely.