By Alexa Kaczka
A new campaign has been launched by Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) that aims to increase the frequency of motorists' eye tests in a bid to reduce the number of accidents occurring on UK roads.
According to the organisation, if drivers were to regularly visit their optician or optometrists to ascertain whether they need glasses or contacts lens to drive, their boosted vision could significantly reduce road accidents and deaths.
The organisation commissioned Dr Mark Young, from Brunel University's driver research facility, to examine previous studies which had analysed the impact that good or poor vision can have on people's driving.
His findings, recorded in a new report entitles Fit to Drive, showed that the extent to which deteriorating vision can affect people's ability to drive safely had not been sufficiently illustrated.
As a result, RSA has launched the Fit to Drive campaign, which has involved polling MPs to find out their views on whether the current rules and legislation regarding driving requirements are sufficient.
The results were that 57 per cent of ministers believed an eye test should be mandatory when a driving licence was being renewed, with 51 per cent claiming they would back legislation to increase the extent of eyesight testing during driving tests.
One MP, Esther McVey, from Wirral West, commented: "Great strides have been made in improving road safety but we should now question whether it's right that drivers can simply read a number plate aged 17 and carry on driving for the next 50 years without realising that they might need an eye test."
RSA UK chief executive Adrian Brown told Post Online that there have been many successful road safety campaigns over the years and it is now time that a similar campaign is mounted to highlight and address the issue of poor vision among motorists.
by Martin Burns