Find out the rules and take an online eye test to get an indication of your visual health
Did you know: Failing a roadside eye test could mean the instant loss of your licence?
From driving to the shops or heading to the airport on your hols, it’s more important than ever for drivers to know the facts about what’s expected of their eyesight – and what can happen if they fail to ensure it’s fit for purpose when behind the wheel…
Many drivers are still unaware that since 2013, police have the powers to instantly rid the roads of unsafe motorists who fail a roadside eyesight test.
At-a-glance guide to roadside eye tests
Make sure you’re not left standing at the side of the road instead of boarding a plane by reading our essential guide to roadside eye tests and police powers.
What are the police powers to revoke a licence
What are the police powers to revoke a licence: Following the death of 16-year-old Cassie McCord who was run down by an elderly driver – who had previously failed an eyesight test, but who police were powerless to immediately remove from the road – a campaign by Cassie’s mum Jackie Rason resulted in new powers allowing police and the DVLA the ability to revoke a licence within minutes.
Is poor eyesight really a problem
Is poor eyesight really a problem: Yes! Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request, revealed that since ‘Cassie’s Law’ was introduced in 2013, cops across the UK asked the DVLA to revoke 631 licences after failed roadside eyesight tests.
My eyesight is fine, so it's not a problem
My eyesight is fine, so it’s not a problem: That’s what you think. Research reveals eyesight can deteriorate by up to 40% before a person becomes aware of it.
How does poor eyesight effect my driving
How does poor eyesight effect my driving: This table explains conditions, symptoms and how they can affect your ability to drive safely. Click here to veiw the facts
What are the rules about driving with glasses
What are the rules about driving with glasses: If you need glasses or contact lenses for driving, you must wear them when behind the wheel. Forgetting to wear specs or contacts will be no excuse if you fail a roadside test.
I think I had an eye test recently, so I'm fine… probably
I think I had an eye test recently, so I’m fine… probably: Are you sure? Research revealed that 25% of drivers hadn’t taken a test in the past two years and around 4% – equivalent to 1.5million drivers on UK roads – have never had their eyes tested. Equally worrying, is the fact that around one in eight drivers prescribed glasses or lenses admit driving without them.
What happens in the police roadside test
What happens in the police roadside test: Police will ask a driver to read a vehicle number plate at 20metres. The test must be undertaken in clear daylight. Police cannot make drivers take the test in the dark or in poor light conditions.
What if I fail a roadside test
What if I fail a roadside test: Forgetting your glasses or undiagnosed problems with your vision could lead to you failing a roadside eyesight test. If the police believe you pose a significant risk to other road users and pedestrians, you could have you licence revoked within minutes.
If I fail, will I be able to drive home to get my glasses or have an eye test
If I fail, will I be able to drive home to get my glasses or have an eye test: The police have three levels of licence revocation to conside. These are as follows:
Immediate – police can email the DVLA from the roadside – using smartphones etc – to ask for the licence to be revoked then and there. This can be done in minutes. However, the service is only available to police on weekdays between 08:00 – 22:00
Within 48 hours – whereby the driver will be contacted urgently within this period.
Postal – this well result in the driver being dealt with via letter sent within 24 hours of notification from the police.
Test your eyesight right here
The results of driving with impaired vision can be far more serious than losing your licence
Whether you’re worried about your eyesight or simply haven’t had it checked for several years – if at all – it’s essential you protect others and your licence itself, by getting it tested.
With many ways your eyesight can be affected by illness or simply age, you can take these online vision tests to get an indication of your visual health. These tests are not conclusive and are no substitute for a full medical examination.
Can you read a car numberplate at 20metres
If not, it’s likely you are unsafe to drive and could be risking your licence and the lives of others. Take this test – following the instructions closely – to see if you could be at risk. Take the test here
Field of vision test
Blind spots in your eyes can have serious implications when driving. Take this test to see how your retina is working. You’ll get a report at the end which you can print out and take to an expert if there appears to be problems. Take the test here
Are you near-sighted
If items become blurred the closer they come, this could be the test for you. Take the test here
Problems driving at night
You have troubles driving at night? You have problems perceiving some letters? These might be the first signs of astigmatism. Take the Astigmatism test.
Even if these tests suggest your eyes are healthy, all drivers below 70 should always have an eye test at least every two years. These tests do not guarantee you are safe to drive.
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