Fleet News

Fleet Operations puts driver eyesight in focus

Eyesight test push from Fleet Operations

Fleet management company Fleet Operations has put driver eyesight in focus by urging operators to ensure its drivers have regular eyesight tests.

This push is following new research which shows that thousands of drivers lose their licence each year in the UK due to poor eyesight.

Recent Government figures reveal that 19,644 drivers had their licences revoked between January 2017 and September 2019 because their eyesight did not meet the necessary standard.

This equates to 134 drivers per week, or more than 7,100 a year.

Richard Hipkiss, managing director of Fleet Operations, said: “All employers have a duty of care to confirm that any employees who drive either a company car or their own vehicle for any work-related purpose are fit to drive, including passing the eyesight requirements.

"These statistics bring this health and safety obligation into sharp focus.

“Employers should be reminding their employees regularly of the DVLA recommendation that eyesight tests should be taken every two years as a minimum to mitigate risk for both employees and other road users. “

The current law states that all drivers must be able to read a number plate in daylight from a distance of 20 metres.

Hipkiss added: “As with most medical conditions, the onus legally is on the driver to inform the DVLA should their eyesight drop below the required levels. 

“But apart from this rudimentary eyesight check during their driving test, the test is not required at any other time, nor can this be fully relied on as it only checks a driver's ability to read over distance.

“The only way to properly check a driver's eyesight is through an eyesight test with an optician.

"We'd like to see a mandatory eyesight test as part of the photocard licence renewal process every 10 years.”

The DVLA figures were provided by insurance company Direct Line through a freedom of information request.

This follows a recent push from GEM Motoring Assist, in which the company urged drivers to book eyesight tests in 2020.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth, said: “What better time than the year 2020 to get your vision checked properly and ensure the risks you face as a driver or rider are as low as possible."

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