Optical Confederation refutes claims that improving road safety with enhanced vision standards would cost considerable amounts
While the Confederation welcomes the recognition from the Minister that individuals should not be driving if they do not meet the requirements for vision, we are disappointed at the Governmentís refusal so far to take steps to ensure that all drivers have adequate vision to drive safely.†(see our story on the Minister's comments)
It is unclear who was advising the Minister but she quoted figures on the costs of assessing vision, which we believe is a substantial overestimation.† Many drivers would be among the 20 million who attend for a sight test annually, and 14 million of these are funded by the NHS.† These drivers (and the NHS) would incur no additional cost.†
The Minister failed to address the point that drivers are often unaware of a change in their vision, while others delay resolving a problem with their vision when it arises.† We do not understand how these drivers can take personal responsibility for their vision especially since there is a poor understanding of this test among drivers.† We were also astounded to hear that the licence plate test can also test drivers for glare and contrast sensitivity, and we would welcome clarification on this.
The UK is dragging its feet on driver vision screening, and falls significantly below the standards of our European partners.† The Confederation urges the Government to give this further consideration.