Screening initiative promotes roadworthy vision

Results from the national initiative will support a new campaign co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and supported by optical bodies and road safety organisations

Pexels/Sarmad Mughal

A week-long national initiative has seen police forces across the UK conducting roadside vision screenings to highlight motorists’ legal obligation to ensure their vision is roadworthy when they get behind the wheel.

The results of the screening initiative, which launched on 6 March, will be collated and analysed ahead of the spring launch of a major public information campaign: Is your vision roadworthy?

The campaign is being co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, and supported by the AOP, Central Optical Fund, College of Optometrists, Federation of Ophthalmic and Dispensing Opticians, and Eye Health UK.

Motoring and road safety organisations are also supporting the campaign, including the DVLA, BRAKE, Driving Mobility, GEM Motoring Assist, IAM Road Smart, National Highways, Older Drivers Forum, RAC Foundation, Road Safety GB and THINK!

Community engagement toolkits have been sent to every police force in the UK in order to promote the importance of good vision for safe driving, and the importance of having routine eye tests to prevent eyesight becoming a road safety risk.

Roadside vision screening involves asking motorists to read a number plate from a distance of 20 metres while wearing any eyesight correction worn at the time of driving.

Under legislation known as Cassie’s Law, drivers who fail a roadside number plate test could have their licence revoked on the spot if a police officer deems them to be unsafe to be on the road. Other penalties for not meeting legal eyesight standards include a possible fine or penalty points.

Campaign organisers will be running a free vision and driving webinar at 2pm on 14 March, hosted by TV and radio presenter, Valerie Singleton OBE. The AOP’s head of clinical and regulatory, Henry Leonard, will be presenting at the event.

Through the webinar, motorists will be able to find out more about the legal eyesight standards for drivers and the role of good eyesight in reducing risks on the road.

Registration for the webinar is via a dedicated webpage.

The campaign uses the hashtag #IsYourVisionRoadworthy.

Sussex Police chief constable and roads police lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, Jo Shiner, said: “Personal responsibility is the starting point for safer roads.”

Shiner highlighted the importance of motorists ensuring their eyesight meets the standards of vision for driving, adding: “It’s something only you can do to keep yourself and all other road users safe while driving.”

Organisers noted that more details about the Is your vision roadworthy? campaign and how to get involved will be released in coming weeks.