>Motorists whose eyesight falls below the legal limit
>Motorists whose eyesight falls below the legal limitare ignoring advise and continuing to drive, a report has found.
Currently, an estimated 2,900 injuries on our roads each year are caused by drivers with poor vision, according to analysis by RSA Insurance Group.
The law in the UK states that drivers must take a sight examination, which involves reading a number plate from 20 metres away, when they first take their driving test.
From then on motorists self-declare that their eyesight is good enough when they renew their license, and there is no legal requirement to have further eye tests.
The AOP says these laws are too lax, and is calling on the Government to introduce mandatory eye tests for drivers at least every ten years.
Gillian Jones, whose father Ambrose Skingle was killed in 2012 by a motorist who lied about their eyesight when renewing their driving licence, backed the calls to make eye tests a legal requirement.
Mr Skingle, 86, was hit by a motorist who had been told not to drive by an optometrist.
Ms Jones said: “I have two sons and my father was a big part of their lives. Dad taught them how to ride bikes and play golf.
“We had a family dinner together every Sunday. Life has never been the same. It was as if centre of our lives had been ripped out.
“I know some people don’t want to have a sight test because they don’t want the bad news that they have to stop driving.
“I’d like them to think of the consequences, both to themselves and to others. I think most people would feel awful knowing they were responsible for taking a life.
“People have got to look at the bigger picture.”
The AOP has now launched a campaign called ‘ >Don’t Swerve a Sight Test
>Don’t Swerve a Sight Test‘ to call for a change in the law, and to encourage drivers to test their vision regularly.
Solicitor Michael Pace, expert in motoring law, said: “I have a long-held belief that people shouldn’t be able to self-certify, because as we get older I think we all reach a point where we shouldn’t be driving.
“It’s clear that some people are self-certifying who shouldn’t be.
“I’ve dealt with an increasing amount of older drivers who are being stopped by police for careless driving, sometimes because of a lack of confidence and sometimes because of poor eyesight.
“It’s time that we move towards some sort of compulsory eye test.”
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