Don't swerve a sight test captures national attention

The AOP's new driving awareness campaign launched this week

Don't swerve a sight test

The AOP’s Don't swerve a sight test campaign gained national and local coverage from more than 50 broadcast outlets when it launched on Tuesday (14 November).

Calling for a change in law that would see drivers required to prove that their vision meets the legal standard every 10 years, the campaign was covered by BBC Breakfast, BBC News, LBC Nick Ferrari, BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 5 Live, Sky News Radio, BBC Asian Network and BFBS, to name but a few.

The campaign was established after AOP research found that one in three optometrists have seen a patient in the last month who had vision below the legal standard, yet continued to drive against advice.

The Association highlighted in its findings that 91% of UK practising optometrists believe that the current sight requirements for a driving licence are insufficient.

Under existing law, drivers undergo an initial number plate test when taking their driving test, and complete a self-declaration when renewing their licence thereafter.

Launching its Don't swerve a sight test campaign ahead of Road Safety Week, which begins on Monday (20-26 November), the AOP is recommending that people have their sight tested every two years to “maximise their eye health and make sure they are road safe.”

Calling on the profession to support the campaign, the Association has created a pack of materials that include a patient advice video and a template letter that can be used to raise the issue with local MPs.

Optometrist and AOP Board member, Dr Julie-Anne Little, said: “The UK system, which relies on self-reporting and an initial number plate test, falls behind many other countries. Because sight changes can be gradual, often people won't realise that their vision has deteriorated over time. The campaign is about reminding drivers that with a visit to their optometrist – they can not only make sure they meet the standards but help make our roads safer.”