Don’t Drive Blind – Would You Pass a Vision Test?

a new campaign is calling for the
government to change the rules around eye tests for drivers. It's estimated that
there are more than 3,000 injuries on the UK's roads where dodgy vision is a
key factor. The UK is one of only five EU countries that doesn't legally require
drivers to visit an optician as part of the driving test. How's your eyesight when you're behind
the wheel? Shoppers in Broadmead got the chance to test their sight. "Very easy and
straightforward, and I was delighted that I passed with flying colors." "Uh yeah my eyesight's awful, and apparently that's the legal requirement to drive. It's
pretty shocking." "I think I did pretty well. I do go regularly to the
optician." It's all part of a mission to tighten up
our driving rules. "Well in essence, somebody who potentially
could pass their test at age 17 does not have to submit to a vision screening
examination by a qualified optical professional, potentially for the whole
of their driving career. When you pass your driving test, all you're required to
do is to see a number plate from 20 meters away.

And that just tests one element of your
vision. It doesn't test other elements of your vision such as your peripheral vision
and your ability to take in all of the surroundings. And as an organization, we
don't believe that is robust enough and will be calling on the government to
revisit the current arrangements with a view to try and improve them." And those
in charge of road safety in our city are backing the campaign. "It's a massively
important cross-portfolio role, so it's not only myself, it's all my cabinet
colleagues and the mayor as well, working together to make Bristol a safer place.
But there could be around 10,000 people who are driving in Bristol who have
never had an eye test, and you know, this is a risk to them and to other people
as well, and there's a really serious message in the whole Driving Blind

It is 'Make sure you get your eyes tested, make sure you keep them
tested on a regular basis, and for goodness sake, wear the contact lenses or the glasses that you're
prescribed because you're putting yourself at risk, and your family at risk.'" And experts
say the issue is made worse when people know they need glasses but don't wear
them. "Indeed our eyes can change, and when we start out in like teenagers early
twenties driving, we haven't had perfect sight, and as we approach
middle-age, it does change. And so there's a risk it could get a little worse, and corrected
prescription glasses really help that. One of the key aspects we picked up on
is the number of patients who have glasses and choose not to wear them
driving. About one in five motorists who don't meet the standard actually have
glasses in the car, but not wearing them.

So we're really urging people, 'Please wear
your glasses when you've been advised to.' So, if you were shopping in town, would
you have passed the test?.