New Rules Make It Easier To Revoke Licences
Motorists with bad eyesight could now have their licences revoked within hours, rather than days. The Police – if they are concerned by someone's driving – can ask them to take an on-the-spot sight test. This involves reading a registration plate from twenty metres. If the motorist fails the Police will then inform the Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency who could withdraw the licence. However, until recently this took days as the paperwork went through the post. The motorist could therefore continue to drive in the short term despite not being able to see properly. Now, however, the process can be completed by e-mail so the licence could be revoked within hours. It is hoped this will reduce accidents.
Jackie McCord's sixteen year-old daughter was killed by a motorist with poor eyesight and she played a pivotal role in bringing this change to fruition. She therefore organised a petition that totalled 45,000 names by the time it was presented to the government. According to The Telegraph, her daughter Cassie was hit by a car driven by an old man who had recently failed an on-the-spot sight test following a minor collision at a petrol station. However - as this was before the e-mail system that could have revoked his licence that day - the pensioner was legally entitled to continue driving in the short term.
Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond, said: "We have every sympathy with Mrs McCord and would like to thank her for her valuable work in raising awareness of this issue. The DVLA and the police have worked closely to greatly streamline the process for revoking a licence when the police identify that a driver's eyesight is inadequate. The decision whether to revoke a driving licence on medical grounds remains with the DVLA, though the process for informing drivers that their licence has been revoked has now been accelerated."
Motorists should have their eyesight tested regularly by professionals to ensure they are safe to drive. The minimum standard – as defined by The Driver Vehicle Licensing Agency - is that motorists must be able to read registration plates produced from September 1st 2001 from twenty metres. Furthermore, they must satisfy a minimum standard on the Snellen Scale which is a chart containing several rows of letters that range from large to small. Drivers must also have an adequate field of vision which can be measured in degrees. This criteria can be met with the naked eye or courtesy of glasses/contact lenses.
By Stephen Turvil
Mon, 11 Feb 2013
Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk: 13th Feb 2013 14:43:00
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