Fleet News

Drivers risk lives with eye defects

ONE million company car drivers could be putting lives at risk by driving with defective eyesight, according to new research.

Thousands of drivers were interviewed as part of an in-depth examination of road safety standards among motorists.

The survey, carried out by Specsavers Opticians, revealed that one third of drivers had not visited an optician in the past two years, yet only 23% were confident that they did not have a problem with their eyesight and did not need their eyes tested.

Specsavers, which sells a pair of glasses every six seconds, revealed the research from its Drive Safe survey as it called for drivers to take their vision more seriously.

It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle if you cannot read a standard number plate in good daylight from 20.5m (67 feet), using glasses if necessary. Research already revealed by the firm has showed as many as one in seven drivers might fail such a basic eye test.

Despite the poor safety record of drivers interviewed for the survey, 87% of drivers are in favour of compulsory eye examinations for drivers every five years, particularly for the over 40s. More than half were in favour of random roadside testing of drivers' eyesight.

Specsavers is running a series of roadshows visiting Southampton, Leeds, Cardiff and the British Motor Show in Birmingham offering free eye screening for drivers and advice on driver safety.

Specsavers' founder Mary Perkins, said: 'It is time the Government recognised the need to safeguard the public against drivers with poor eyesight. I believe that driving with uncorrected vision is as serious an offence as driving under the influence of alcohol.

'Certainly, the consequences can be equally catastrophic.'

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